Czechs report slowest daily rise in coronavirus cases

FILE PHOTO: A municipality worker wearing a protective face mask disinfects handrails along the Vltava river to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Prague, Czech Republic, April 1, 2020. REUTERS/David W Cerny

PRAGUE (Reuters) – The Czech Republic reported its slowest daily percentage rise in confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, as the country entered fourth week of restrictions on business and movement.

The country had 4,591 cases as of Sunday midnight, up 2.6% from the previous day, the Health Ministry said on its website. This was the lowest percentage increase since early March when the country had a handful of known infections.

This followed increases of 282 on Saturday, 332 on Friday and 269 on Thursday and was the lowest absolute daily increase since March 22.

Czech data on new cases have been lower on weekends as some laboratories do not process tests.

There were 4,710 tests done on Sunday, down from a record 6,889 on Friday but still up by nearly 2,000 from a week ago, when the daily number of detected infections was higher.

The country of 10.7 million has done 85,014 tests so far and aims to ramp up the testing capacity beyond 10,000 per day.

There have been 72 deaths and 96 recoveries, and on Sunday 391 people were in hospital, including 84 in serious condition.

The Health Ministry has been testing a “smart quarantine” plan since last week – a system aimed at finer tracking of the infection spread, which the government hopes will allow relaxing some of the restrictions on business and social interactions.

Reporting by Robert Muller and Jan Lopatka; editing by Nick Macfie

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