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Czech Republic to Allow 300 Military Medical Personnel From NATO and EU to Help with COVID

Αssociated Press

A health care worker walks in hallway at a hospital in Kyjov, Czech Republic, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

PRAGUE — The Czech Parliament has approved a government plan to allow up to 300 military medical personnel from NATO and EU countries to help with the coronavirus.

The first group of 28 medical staff is expected from the U.S. National Guard.

The Czech Republic’s daily increase in confirmed cases reached a record 15,663 on Tuesday.

There’s been 297,013 confirmed cases, including more than half -- 157,000 -- in the last two weeks.

Also, a new health minister was sworn in. Jan Blatny is replacing epidemiologist Roman Prymula who was dismissed after he was photographed visiting a restaurant.

Restaurants and bars are closed in the country as part of the tight regulations imposed to curb the surge. Prymula denied wrongdoing, saying he went through the restaurant to a private space for a meeting, but offered his resignation.

Blatny, a specialist in pediatric hematology, was deputy director of the University Hospital in the second largest Czech city of Brno.

The Czech Republic has reported 2,675 deaths in a country of 10 million.