Czech PM: "Life may get back to normal by June"
The Czech government does not plan further restrictions to curb coronavirus but life in the country may only get back to normal in late May or June if the situation is under control, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Thursday, APA reports citing Reuters.
The country introduced in mid-March some of the - at the time - harshest measures in Europe to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, including closing schools, most shops and restaurants and banning most movement in public. It took the action when it had only around 200 cases.
The measures have helped the country avoid a surge in infections potentially overwhelming the healthcare system, but at a large economic cost.
Many factories in the export-dependant country have also stopped work as demand dropped and European supply chains ground to a halt, leading to expectations of a deep recession.
Babis said in a live interview on Blesk tabloid newspaper’s website that the government did not intend to introduce more restrictions, and small shops selling goods other than food may open after Easter if they observe preventive measures such as distancing between customers.
“We of course know that this situation is not good for the people and we are preparing a gradual relaxation of blanket measures,” he said.
He said he was optimistic that the infection rates were not following the path in hard-hit European countries such as Italy or Spain.
“The turning point will be the end of April when a peak of the epidemic is expected,” Babis said. “We are hoping to get between 10,000 and 15,000 infections then.”
“If things go well then let’s hope that some time at the end of May, in June we could return into an entirely normal situation.”
The country of 10.65 million had 3,604 cases on Thursday morning after an 8.5% rise on Wednesday, and 40 deaths. There were 342 people in hospitals including 72 in intensive care as of April 1, according to Health Ministry data.
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