Czech Republic reports 8,618 new coronavirus cases in one day, fourth record tally in row

A medical staff member wearing a protective suit takes a swab as people are tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a newly opened drive-in sampling station in Prague, Czech Republic, October 7, 2020. REUTERS/David W Cerny

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Republic’s daily count of new coronavirus cases rose to 8,618 on Friday, the fourth record tally in a row, Health Ministry data showed.

The total number of cases rose to 109,374 in the country of 10.7 million. The government has announced tighter anti-pandemic measures this week, while trying to avoid a lockdown.

More than 38,000 cases have been identified in October so far, compared to over 43,000 in the whole of September.

The government has ordered sports facilities, including pools and fitness clubs, and all cultural venues to be shut for two weeks from Monday. Restaurants have to close by 8:00 p.m., with capacity limited to four people per table.

Besides the soaring number of new cases, the number of those who require treatment jumped to 1,893 as of Friday afternoon, compared to 1,028 on Sept. 30.

Some hospitals were forced to postpone planned procedures as they were making space for COVID-19 patients.

Another source of concern is the rapidly growing number of doctors, nurses and other medical staff being infected, according to the Czech Medical Chamber.

Reporting by Robert Muller, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Sonya Hepinstall