Czech Republic, Slovakia see record cases, mull restrictions

 By KAREL JANICEK, Associated Press 1 day agoLike|18Meet the world’s newest power coupleIndian PM Narendra Modi to repeal farm laws after year of protests

PRAGUE (AP) — PRAGUE — The Czech Republic and Slovakia reported record daily numbers of new coronavirus cases Wednesday, a day before the governments of the neighboring European countries plan to approve new restrictions in response to rising infections.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 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 Czech Republic has recorded a new record high in coronavirus infections in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. The news was announced by the Health Ministry on Wednesday Nov. 17, 2021, a day before the government is set to approve new restrictions tackle the recent wave. (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 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 Czech Republic has recorded a new record high in coronavirus infections in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. The news was announced by the Health Ministry on Wednesday Nov. 17, 2021, a day before the government is set to approve new restrictions tackle the recent wave. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek/File)

The Czech daily tally soared to 22,479 new cases, eclipsing the previous record set Jan. 7 by almost 5,000 and nearly 8,000 more than a week ago.

The country’s infection rate rose to 813 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, up from 558 a week earlier.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said the government is considering several options, including following neighboring Austria in ordering a lockdown for unvaccinated residents. Another measure under review is no longer allowing people to attend public events or go to bars and restaurants based on coronavirus test results.

Slovakia reported 8,342 new virus cases, surpassing the previous record of 7,244 set Friday. The Slovakian government is planning new restrictions on unvaccinated people as the country’s hospitals are getting overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger said his Cabinet would vote Thursday on recommendations from an advisory group of medical experts. Among the proposals, which would be instituted for three weeks, are banning unvaccinated individuals from non-essential stores, shopping malls, gyms, pools, hotels and mass public gatherings.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 Czech Republic has recorded a new record high in coronavirus infections in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. The news was announced by the Health Ministry on Wednesday Nov. 17, 2021, a day before the government is set to approve new restrictions tackle the recent wave. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)© Provided by Associated Press 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 Czech Republic has recorded a new record high in coronavirus infections in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. The news was announced by the Health Ministry on Wednesday Nov. 17, 2021, a day before the government is set to approve new restrictions tackle the recent wave. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)

Slovakia’s Health Ministry said that 81% of the country’s 2,879 hospitalized COVID-19 patients have not received coronavirus vaccines.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia have vaccination rates below the average of the 27 European Union nations.

___

Follow all AP stories on the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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