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This article provides daily updates on the situation in Brno and South Moravia. Photo credit: Freepik / For illustrative purposes.

Brno, Mar 15 (BD) [updated 10:39 PM] – The South Moravian Region (JMK) now has fourteen patients with Covid-19. According to the official website of the Czech Ministry of Health, as of 6:00 PM, there were 253 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Czech Republic.

In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus and to protect drivers and passengers, the city bus service in Znojmo is running free of charge from March 16th until further notice. The loss of revenue from bus tickets will be paid from the city budget. The city will also launch a new website on Monday: opatreniznojmo.cz. The City of Brno publishes regular updates on the situation in Brno here: brno.cz/coronavirus (English).

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said that the Czech government will make a decision on whether to impose a nationwide quarantine at a meeting at 4pm this afternoon. We are waiting for more details.

A ban on travel into and out of the country will apply from midnight tonight (Sunday-Monday). Foreigners without Czech residence permits will not be able to enter the country, and Czech citizens without resident permits in their destination countries will not be allowed to leave. People who work in border regions within 100 kilometres of the Czech border can continue to commute to work. Complete information on exceptions, travel limitations and visa arrangements can be found on the websites of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the websites are updated regularly and available in English.

South Moravia

The two new cases were reported around 12pm yesterday; another case, reputedly a doctor from Breclav, was reported around 5pm yesterday by Czech TV.

Four of the patients that have tested positive in JMK are residents of Brno, one of Blansko, and three of Breclav. According to the South Moravian Regional Hygiene Authority (JMK KHS), three of the patients are women and four men, all adults. Three patients are isolated at Brno University Hospital in Bohunice (FN Brno), and four are at home and in good clinical condition. The details of the most recent cases haven’t been released yet.

The two recent cases are two men from Breclav around 30 years of age. “In both cases, the disease has been imported, and there is no connection between them,” said a spokesperson for JMK KHS, quoted by Czech TV. 

The other cases previously reported in South Moravia include a couple who recently returned from a skiing holiday in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy, according to Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech. Upon arriving home on March 8th, they contacted the hospital for tests, which were conducted at their home. They were later admitted to FN Brno. The couple have since been sent home where they remain in isolation, according to JMK KHS.

The fourth case in South Moravia, a 30-year-old woman from Blansko who had returned from the Passo del Tonale ski region in Italy, was announced by Vojtech on Thursday morning.

An 84-year-old woman from South Moravia is being treated in the Infectious Diseases Department of FN Brno, according to a report from JMK KHS on March 12th. Her husband was the fifth infected.

Shortly after midday yesterday, Czech TV reported Marcel Kolaja (Pirati), a Czech MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament, is in quarantine in Brno awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test. Kolaja arrived from Brussels on Thursday morning, and in the evening started experiencing health problems.

RegionNumber of positive cases as of March 15, 6:00 PM
Praha96
Olomoucký kraj31
Středočeský kraj28
Ústecký kraj18
Zlínský kraj15
Jihomoravský kraj14
Moravskoslezský kraj11
Karlovarský kraj9
Královéhradecký kraj8
Jihočeský kraj6
Plzeňský kraj6
Pardubický kraj6
Liberecký kraj3
Vysočina2
Total253

Data: Ministry of Health CR, 3/15/2020 at 6:00 PM.

In the period from January 27th – March 13th, epidemiologists from JMK KHS conducted hundreds of consultations with patients with suspected cases of the new coronavirus.

As of 2pm on March 13th, 170 specialized tests had been carried out, up from 49 on Thursday. “The majority of these tests were carried out at the patients’ homes. We are still receiving the results, and we are still waiting for several dozen results,” said Renata Ciupek of JMK KHS on Friday.

Fifth- and sixth-year medical students of Masaryk University are starting training to work in special tents for coronavirus testing that have recently been installed at Brno University Hospital (FN Brno). Photo: Muni.cz / CC-BY.

In the last few days, a wave of solidarity from students has been prompted by appeals from different parts of Masaryk University to join projects to help the most vulnerable groups during the state of emergency period.

On Friday, in just a few hours, more than 850 people signed up to the university database, supporting community efforts against coronavirus by volunteering at FN Brno, babysitting at various locations or working on emergency information helplines. The first to respond to the request for help were students from the Faculty of Education, who will take care of the children of FN Brno staff from Monday. There was also a large response from the university’s Faculty of Medicine, where over 250 students signed up to help. Fifth- and sixth-year medical students are starting training to work in special tents for coronavirus testing that have recently been installed at FN Brno.

Distribution of Masks

Hospitals have received an extra shipment of masks; private donors have been helping. The first masks were distributed to medics and hospitals over the weekend. Due to a lack of protective equipment, however, only two or three pieces or respirators have been delivered to each surgery, according to Cesky Rozhlas. These are expected to last two or three days. Surgeries are being advised to treat only acute cases, and issue e-prescriptions online where possible.

 “We have just acquired 82,000 masks for social services. They will start being distributed into the field no later than tomorrow (Monday). The masks are designed for medical professionals and all those who care for old and seriously ill people, to avoid infecting them. Social service clients are the most at risk group,” announced Health Minister Adam Vojtěch (ANO) via Twitter on Sunday afternoon.

The privately owned PPF Group will donate 120 tons of medical aid to the Czech Republic. “The Czech Republic is receiving a donation of 120 tons of medical supplies worth CZK 100 million to fight coronavirus. These supplies will be ready for gradual transport to the Czech Republic from Monday. Transport will be provided by the Government of the Czech Republic,” announced Prime Minister Babis on Twitter on Sunday afternoon. Today, PPF’s majority shareholder and reputedly the richest man in the Czech Republic, Petr Kellner, confirmed the donation. “In China, we have purchased protective equipment worth 100 million crowns,” the group announced.

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