The outgoing government on Wednesday rejected a proposal to relax a ban on
smoking at Czech pubs, restaurants and some other facilities, which was
introduced last year. The amendment was proposed by Civic Democratic deputy
Marek Benda and envisaged creating separate smoking areas in pubs with
their own ventilation. Under the proposal, bars with an area of 80 square
meters or smaller could decide themselves whether to allow smoking or not.
Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said after the government meeting that it was too early to assess the effects of the anti-smoking bill, which has been in force since May last year. The proposal will now be debated in the lower house.
Over 100 Czech pubs and restaurants have been found guilty of contravening
a smoking ban that was brought in at the end of May, iDnes.cz reported on
Wednesday. Fines totalling CZK 243,000 have been levied.
The highest number of cases has been recorded in Central Bohemia, but the highest amount in sanctions has been imposed in the Ústí nad Labem region, where there pubs have been fined CZK 120,000.
Officials in Ústí nad Labem receive an average of two to three reports of illicit smoking from the public every day. Such reports are the most common manner that breaches are uncovered.
The number of patients with acute respiratory illnesses related to the flu
dropped somewhat this week to an average of 1,923 patients per 100,000
inhabitants, down from the previous of 1,984.
The slight dip represents a difference of 3.1 percent.
In some regions, however, the number of patients per 100,000 remains above 2,000 and health officials warned that the end of the epidemic was a slow process.
Last year, the flu epidemic in the Czech Republic ended by February; this year it began in the second month of the year. It takes between 4 - 8 weeks for an epidemic of this kind to run its course, the Czech News Agency stated.
Seventy people have died so far in a flu epidemic in the Czech Republic,
Novinky.cz reported on Saturday. Of that figure 54 were over the age of 60,
Dr. Martina Havlíčková of the National Reference Laboratory for
Influenza told the news site. Last year 114 lives were lost in a similar
A 1.5 percent rise in the incidence of flu has been recorded in the last week, Dr. Havlíčková said. She said the epidemic was likely to last for several more weeks.
People have been advised to avoid large crowds and devote greater attention to basic hygiene practices.
Ten people in Prague this year have died from flu-related illnesses, nine
of them above the age of 60, while 30 people had to be treated in emergency
wards or intensive care. The news was confirmed by the chief hygiene office
in the Czech capital. The number of those infected with acute respiratory
illness is roughly the same as a week ago, around 1,250 patients per
To try and curb the flu epidemic and protect other patients in hospital, most hospitals but also many pensioners’ homes have banned visits.
The health authorities have warned that Czech Republic is on the brink of a flu epidemic. A fast spread of the disease has been registered in all regions of the country and many hospitals and old age homes have closed their doors to visitors. Six people have already died of flu-related complications and 33 are getting treatment in intensive care.
Hygiene officers warn that Prague has been on the verge of a localized flu
epidemic since late last week. Over the week, the number of children up to
the age of 14 who were suffering from flu symptoms doubled.
Outbreaks reach epidemic levels when the numbers of infected reach between 1,600 and 1,800 per 100,000 people. Across the Czech Republic, the number is 1,450 people per 100,000 and 1,300 per 100,000 in Prague.
The Czech Republic is on the verge of a flu epidemic, according to the
State Health Institute.
It said that there were 1,224 cases of flu per 100,000 people. That’s an advance of around 10 percent of cases on the previous week. The ratio of cases still falls just short of that needed for a flu epidemic to be declared.
The Czech environmental group Arnika is ringing alarm bells. According to the results of a recent study it conducted, some children’s toys and grooming accessories, such as hair brushes, sold in the EU contain toxic substances. Arnika’s Karolína Brabcová says this is an unfortunate side product of the drive to promote plastics recycling.
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