Czech Republic hit by rise of infections unseen since April

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PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic has been hit by a steep rise in coronavirus infections that have reached levels unseen since late April, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.FILE - In this March 16, 2020 file photo a young man wearing a face mask walks across an empty Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic. The Czech Republic has been hit by a steep rise in COVID-19 infections that have reached the levels unseen since late April, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday Oct. 20, 2021. The day-to-day increase in new cases reached 3,246 on Tuesday, more than double the cases a week ago when it was 1,507. It was the highest number since April 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File): Virus Outbreak Czech Republic© Provided by Associated Press Virus Outbreak Czech Republic

The government was set to meet later in the day to approve new measures to tame the surge.

The day-to-day increase in new cases reached 3,246 on Tuesday, more than double the cases a week ago when it was 1,507. It was the highest number since April 20.

The new infections surpassed 100 per 100,000 people in seven days with 117 positive cases.

The fast rise of infections is accompanied by increasing numbers of people who need hospitalization and those who die.

A total of 620 COVID-19 patients were treated in hospitals on Tuesday with about 100 in serious condition. It’s more than twice as many as two weeks ago.

In last seven days, 51 people have died of COVID-19.FILE - in this March 22, 2021 file photo, A woman walks by thousands of crosses that are painted at the Old Town Square, to commemorate the 1-year anniversary of the death of first Czech COVID-19 patient, in Prague, Czech Republic. The Czech Republic has been hit by a steep rise in COVID-19 infections that have reached the levels unseen since late April, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday Oct. 20, 2021. The day-to-day increase in new cases reached 3,246 on Tuesday, more than double the cases a week ago when it was 1,507. It was the highest number since April 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek/File)© Provided by Associated Press FILE – in this March 22, 2021 file photo, A woman walks by thousands of crosses that are painted at the Old Town Square, to commemorate the 1-year anniversary of the death of first Czech COVID-19 patient, in Prague, Czech Republic. The Czech Republic has been hit by a steep rise in COVID-19 infections that have reached the levels unseen since late April, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday Oct. 20, 2021. The day-to-day increase in new cases reached 3,246 on Tuesday, more than double the cases a week ago when it was 1,507. It was the highest number since April 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek/File)

One of the hardest hit European Union countries has registered 1.7 million tested positive for the coronavirus with 30,574 deaths.

In its reaction to the worsening situation, the Health Ministry has proposed several measures, including mandatory face coverings at workplaces and schools.

It has proposed limiting the time for which negative tests are valid. The ministry is also proposing that the state-funded health system not pay for the tests people need to travel, or visit restaurants and other public places and gatherings.

Slightly over 6 million people have been fully vaccinated in the nation of 10.7 million people, a level below the average among European Union nations.

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