PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Republic recorded 127 cases of the new coronavirus on Wednesday, health authorities reported on Thursday, the highest daily number in two months as the country eases restrictions on business and public life.
As of Thursday morning, the European Union country of 10.7 million had 10,780 cases of the disease. So far 7,592 have recovered, leaving 2,844 active cases and 344 deaths.
The Czech government was fast to close down schools, borders and retail businesses in mid-March, before any deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
It has gradually removed most of the restrictions on business apart from wearing masks indoors, limits on pub opening hours and holding mass culture events, and has said it will focus on local quarantine, tracing and testing measures rather than national lockdowns in the future.
As of this week, public gatherings can reach 1,000 people, up from 500. Trade fairs with up to 5,000 people have also been given the green light. Pools, zoos, museums and castles and chateaux can also return to normal operations, cancelling limits on the number of visitors.
Wednesday’s daily number of infections is the highest since April 21, when the country reported 133 new cases.
The number of new infections exceeded 100 on three days in the past week, also for the first time since mid-April.
Infections in recent days have been centred in the northeastern Ostrava region which had an outbreak among coal miners, and in and around the capital Prague.
** For an interactive graphic: tmsnrt.rs/3bBIr2U
(The story was refiled to fix typo in first paragraph)
Reporting by Robert Muller, Editing by Jan Lopatka adn Timothy Heritage