Czechs, Slovaks hit virus records, target the unvaccinated

Nov 17, 2021, 3:15 AM | Updated: 5:11 pm

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic and Slovakia both reported record daily new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, a day before the two European Union countries plan to approve new restrictions for unvaccinated people in response to rising infections.

Thousands in the capitals of both countries, Prague and Bratislava, used Wednesday’s anniversary of the 1989 anti-communist Velvet Revolution to rally against their government’s upcoming coronavirus restrictions.

The protesters ignored social distancing and didn’t wear masks. Police didn’t intervene in Prague. In Bratislava, police said two officers sustained injuries after the crowd near the seat of the government detonated fire crackers.

The Czech daily tally soared to 22,479 new cases, eclipsing the previous record set Jan. 7 by almost 5,000 and nearly 8,000 more than just a week ago. The country’s infection rate rose to 813 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, up from 558 a week earlier.

Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech announced Wednesday he would propose new coronavirus restrictions to be approved by the government on Thursday.

“We find ourselves in a very serious situation,” Vojtech said. “There’s a real risk that our hospitals will be overwhelmed,”

The key measure being proposed is that most unvaccinated people will no longer be allowed to attend public events, go to bars and restaurants or use hotels based on coronavirus test results. Only people who are vaccinated and those who have recovered from COVID-19 will remain eligible. Similar restrictions are in place in the German state of Bavaria.

They are expected to become effective on Monday.

“It’s motivation for the unvaccinated to get vaccinated,” Vojtech said.

Exceptions include teenagers aged 12 to 18, medical personnel and visitors at hospitals and nursing homes.

Vojtech also urged companies to cancel their traditional Christmas parties and return to working at home wherever possible.

Slovakia reported 8,342 new virus cases, surpassing the previous record of 7,244 set Friday. The Slovak government is planning new restrictions on unvaccinated people as the country’s hospitals are getting overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger said his Cabinet would vote Thursday on recommendations from medical experts. Among the proposals, which would be instituted for three weeks, are banning unvaccinated people from nonessential stores, shopping malls, gyms, pools, hotels and mass public gatherings.

Slovakia’s Health Ministry said 81% of the country’s 2,879 hospitalized COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated.

The Czech Republic at 57.9% and Slovakia at 45.3% have vaccination rates well below the average of the EU’s 27 nations.

___

Follow all AP stories on the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE- Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol near the India-Pakistan border fencing at ...
Associated Press

At 75, India’s Kashmir challenge shifts foreign policy focus

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — For decades, India has tried to thwart Pakistan in a protracted dispute over Kashmir, the achingly beautiful Himalayan territory claimed by both countries but divided between them. That relentless competition made Pakistan always the focus of New Delhi’s foreign policy. But in the last two years, since a deadly border clash […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos talks to reporters March 16, 2022, in Madison, Wis. Vos...
Associated Press

Wisconsin Assembly leader Vos beats Trump-backed challenger

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s most powerful Republican narrowly survived being targeted by Donald Trump in Tuesday’s primary, then said his win proved that lawmakers “don’t have to be a lapdog to whatever Donald Trump says.” Robin Vos, the longest-serving speaker in the state’s history, overcame intense criticism from Trump and others that he hadn’t […]
22 hours ago
FILE - In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, a People's Liberation Army member look...
Associated Press

China reaffirms threat of military force to annex Taiwan

BEIJING (AP) — China on Wednesday reaffirmed its threat to use military force to bring self-governing Taiwan under its control, amid threatening Chinese military exercises that have raised tensions between the sides to their highest level in years. The statement issued by the Cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office and its news department followed almost a week […]
22 hours ago
FILE - President Joe Biden shakes hands with veteran John Caruso as Biden tour's the Fort Worth VA ...
Associated Press

Veterans health bill marks a personal victory for Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Joe Biden rattled off policy proposals in this year’s State of the Union address, he hit an emotional note when talking about veterans who suffer from cancer after serving on military bases where toxic smoke billowed from burning trash. “One of those soldiers was my son Maj. Beau Biden,” he […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Niklas Hoehne, from left, New Climate Institute Cologne, Luisa Neubauer, Fridays for Future ...
Associated Press

‘We’re back, baby’: New bill boosts US climate credibility

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a moment when hopes dimmed that the United States could become an international leader on climate change, legislation that Congress is poised to approve could rejuvenate the country’s reputation and bolster its efforts to push other nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions more quickly. The head-snapping turn of events, which has […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Firefighters work the scene of a helicopter crash where former NBA basketball star Kobe Brya...
Associated Press

Kobe Bryant crash photos lawsuit to be heard by LA jury

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant was one of the most photogenic sports figures in Los Angeles and images of him seen by millions around the world — smiling in victory, grimacing in agony — keep his memory alive. But some photos of him should never be seen, his widow says, and she’s seeking unspecified […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Czechs, Slovaks hit virus records, target the unvaccinated