Czech President Zeman Hospitalized Again for COVID-19, Nationwide State of Emergency Declared over Surges

Czech President Milos Zeman has been readmitted to the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19, just hours after being discharged from an unrelated condition following more than a month of treatment.

Zeman, 77, was released from the Prague military hospital to home care on Thursday morning but, an ambulance took him back in the evening after testing positive at the presidential retreat at Lany, west of Prague, the Associated Press reported.

Zeman’s hospitalization meant that he would not for the time being appoint center-right opposition leader Petr Fiala as prime minister, as scheduled Friday.

Meanwhile, Czech Health Ministry Adam Vojtech confirmed the government’s declaration of a 30-day state of emergency and the imposition of additional coronavirus restrictions on Thursday. 

Vojtech said the government has also banned Christmas markets across the country as well as drinking alcohol in public places. 

Vojtech added that bars, restaurants, nightclubs, discotheques, and casinos have to close at 10 p.m., and all public gatherings would only allow 100 visitors each time. 

The government’s decision came after the daily tally in new coronavirus cases hit a new record of almost 26,000 on Tuesday.

Records showed that just over 58% of the Czech population were fully vaccinated.

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