Roundup: Czech hospitals stretched thin; Italy discourages travel abroad

Madrid Desk, Oct 26 (efe-epa).- Healthcare services are at breaking point in the Czech Republic, which has the highest per capita rate of infection of Covid-19 in Europe, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that her country should prepare for “very difficult” months ahead amid spiraling coronavirus contagion.

Meanwhile in France, the head of the government scientific advisory board said that the likely rate of contagion in the country was twice as high as official figures, as the foreign ministry in Italy, where a nationwide curfew from 6pm took effect on Monday, urged its citizens not to travel abroad.


Hospitals in the Czech Republic are “reaching the limit”, the country’s health ministry has warned amid a sustained spike of Covid-19 infections.

More than 7,300 new cases were reported for Sunday, a day when case reports are often lower than normal because of lags in reporting and the fact that fewer tests are done than on weekdays.

Last week, the Czech Republic sustained infection rates of over 10,000, and even exceeded the threshold of 15,000 infections.

More than 5,300 people are hospitalized, 800 of whom are in serious condition, a situation that has led the outgoing health minister, Roman Prymula, to warn  that the country’s hospital capacity “is reaching its limit”.

According to the ministry’s estimates, the Czech Republic will face the most critical moment of the pandemic in the second half of November.

Prymula, who was dismissed last week after a scandal when he was caught by the press at a restaurant that was open exclusively for a meeting, despite these establishments having been forced to close since October 14, will continue on the government’s advisory team.

His successor is expected to take office next Thursday, to coordinate the policies of the country with the highest incidence of the coronavirus in the European Union, with 1,284 accumulated cases per 100,000 people.

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