In spring, the Czech Republic handled the coronavirus situation pretty well: after the first inhabitants had been infected, the government introduced several measurements to reduce the spread of the –in this period of time- new and not widely explored disease.
During the first week of my stay, other volunteers and I were invited to the town hall. I was surprised by the certainty in the mayor’s voice while telling us that he didn’t think the coronavirus will have a big influence for the people in the Czech Republic anymore.
One and a half month later the wave of new infections which had been out of control in the ten and a half million inhabitants country was a major topic in the German news.
In relation to the population, the infection rate was the highest in Europe, the public health care center was under strain and the Czech people started to be afraid.
On the 22.10.2020 after a press conference, the Prime Minister Andrej Babiš apologized for the stricter measurements coming into force: “The increase is huge and unfortunately the measures we have taken in recent weeks have not flattened the growth curve. It looks as if they are not yet working. This is why we have decided to take these measures, for which, of course, I apologize to everyone, because it will make life uncomfortable for businesses, employees and our citizens. I also apologize for having de facto ruled out this possibility in the past. Because I couldn’t imagine it happening. Unfortunately, it has happened, and we must first and foremost protect the lives of our citizens. This is not just about the lives of those ill with Covid, it’s about protecting the lives of all citizens.
That had been the beginning of the second lockdown.
A few weeks later, the new appointed health minister, Jan Blatný, introduced the PES-System (Protiepidemický Systém) on November 13, 2020. “Pes” is the Czech word for “dog”. Recommending on appropriate measures to be taken by the government, the new system should be understandable for everyone.
According to it the pandemic situation of the whole country as well as in the 14 Czech regions are classified into fife alert levels. Related to a scale from 0 to 100 a template of the levels, which are marked with colours, indicates how to behave as a citizen:
The introduction of a curfew takes place at level four (red/ dissatisfied dog) and can even be aggravated at level fife (violet/ angry dog) for example, whereas level one to three indicates a free movement of people and no need of closing shops.
The number of the scale belonging to one of the fife levels, symbolizes the degree of risk and is related to four risk indicators connected to the course and current situation of the epidemic.
Since December 18, 2020, the Czech Republic moved to the fourth alert level again, after they had used the chance to move to level three at December 4. Although the numbers are still rising, let´s hope that the dog, which starts to get angry, will calm down and may be happy again someday ;-).
All sources were last retrieved on December 25, 2020