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Coronavirus

No Reprieve for Czech Republic as Tight Lockdown Extended Until After Easter

PRAGUE — With infection and death rates remaining at high levels, the Czech government has extended the country’s tight lockdown until after Easter.

Health Minister Jan Blatny says his country is still not in a position to relax the measures.

Among the restrictions in one of the hardest-hit countries in the European Union, people have been banned from traveling to other counties unless they go to work or have to take care of relatives.

It’s part of a series of step as the Central European nation has been seeking to slow down the spread of a highly contagious virus variant first found in Britain and prevent the country’s hospitals from collapsing.

Of the 8,910 COVID-19 patients in Czech hospitals on Wednesday, 1,989 needed intensive care. Both the numbers are close to the records set earlier this week.

Blatny said the situation in should start to improve after by the end of this week and the number of hospitalized to drop to some 5,000 in April.

The nation of 10.7 million has over 1.4 million confirmed cases with more than almost 24,100 deaths.

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