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Czech coronavirus cases top 5,000 after highest daily rise this month

FILE PHOTO: Medical workers get ready to test people for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as a part of a study about undetected infections with the coronavirus in the population in Prague, Czech Republic, April 23, 2020. REUTERS/David W Cerny

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The number of active coronavirus infections topped 5,000 in the Czech Republic for the first time after labs reported the highest daily rise in nearly a month, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Authorities had reported 212 new cases by Tuesday night, bringing the total number of active cases to 5,046. Total cases including those who have recovered or died reached 14,324.

The central European country of 10.7 million has reported 360 deaths from the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus, far fewer than many western European nations.

But it has seen infection numbers creeping up, first from an outbreak at a mine in north-eastern Moravia-Silesia region.

The total number of people in hospitals was 148 as of Tuesday night, a dozen more since the weekend, but still a third of the peak of 446 in April.

Since lifting a strict nationwide lockdown imposed in March, the authorities have pledged to avoid future countrywide measures.

Last Friday, authorities tightened restrictions in the northeast of the country, reinstating compulsory face coverings, limiting restaurant opening hours and ordering checks on cross-border commuters.

Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Andrew Heavens