The Ministry proposes not to automatically order isolation due to covid

The Ministry proposes not to automatically order isolation due to covid

Ministry proposes not to automatically order isolation due to covid

Illustration photo – Ministry building healthcare in Prague on Palackého náměstí.

Prague – The Ministry of Health proposes that all people with a positive test for covid-19 no longer be automatically ordered to self-isolate for seven days. Doctors or hygienists have to decide according to the risk. This follows from the draft decree, which the Ministry prepared and published for comments. According to spokesman Ondřej Jakob, the intention of the office is for the change to apply from April. According to the office, it also reflects practice in other countries, and experts who advise the minister agree with it.

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“The very goal of the decree is to return the treatment of covid-19 to the hands of doctors,” Jakob told ČTK. They will now have the obligation to evaluate health risks. According to him, the beginning of the validity will depend on the legislative process. After the publication of the draft decree, other ministries and other institutions and organizations have 15 days to send comments, which will then be assessed by the ministry. The decree no longer needs to be approved by the government or the House of Representatives.

According to Roman Chlíbek, who heads this advisory body, the National Institute for Pandemic Management (NIZP) also agreed with the change, to which Minister of Health Vlastimil Válek (TOP 09) made his decisions about anti-epidemic measures.

“The current and expected further development of the covid-19 pandemic gives us the opportunity to step back from the mandatory requirement of isolation for all covid positives and possibly order it only under specific circumstances when it is absolutely necessary,” epidemiologist Rastislav Maďar, who is a member of the NIZP, told ČTK. According to him, some countries no longer require mandatory isolation, so according to him, this should not lead to stigmatization or restrictions on Czech citizens traveling abroad.

He would consider unification of rules within the EU to be ideal. “Personally, after previous experiences, I am already a bit skeptical if this can be achieved. Just as the EU was not able to agree on a common procedure for all the countries of the Schengen area in time for those arriving from China,” he added.

The ministry states in the explanatory report for the proposal that there is currently enough information about the main epidemiological characteristics of covid-19 and that the population has acquired a certain immunity by experiencing the disease or by vaccination. The level of risk is assessed according to the patient's state of health, his surroundings or the work performed, it is higher for workers in the health sector or residential social services. The ability to wear a respirator at work will also play a role.

Isolation and quarantine conditions have changed over the three years of the covid-19 pandemic. The first patients were strictly isolated in hospitals. At first, isolation was for 14 days and all contacts of the infected person were ordered to quarantine. Currently, after a positive PCR test or antigen test performed by a health professional, the patient is ordered to self-isolate for seven days. Quarantines were canceled about a year ago.

Since the beginning of the new type of coronavirus epidemic in March 2020, a total of 4,606,824 cases of infection, including reinfections, have been confirmed in the Czech Republic. In recent weeks, the number of cases has been rising again, Monday's 1823 is the most since the end of October last year. The number of hospitalized people approached 700 this week, the last time there were more at the end of 2022. However, only dozens of hospitalized people are in a serious condition.

6.9 million people, about 4.36 million, have the basic vaccination against the disease people had the first booster dose and roughly 796,000 people had the second booster dose.