Czechs hit virus record but see significantly fewer deaths

FILE - A woman receives the Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at vaccination center located inside the National Theater in Prague, Czech Republic, on Nov. 11, 2021. The Czech Republic has recorded a significant decline in people dying of COVID-19 despite facing a record number of infected in one month. Over 560,000 new coronavirus were registered in the country in January, by far the most in one month since the beginning of the pandemic amid a record surge of infections driven by the highly contagious omicron variant. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File) (Petr David Josek, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

PRAGUE – The Czech Republic has recorded a significant decline in people dying of COVID-19 despite facing a record number of new cases in January.

Over 560,000 new coronavirus were registered in January, by far the most in one month since the beginning of the pandemic amid a record surge of infections driven by the highly contagious omicron variant.

It was over 150,000 more than the previous record set in November and 250,000 more than in December. Yet, 978 people died of COVID-19 in January, compared to almost 3,000 in December and 2,500 in November when the previous delta variant was dominant in the European Union country.

The Czech Republic has registered 37,243 virus-related deaths in the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the lower house of Parliament was debating Tuesday a plan to amend the pandemic law that gives the coalition government extra powers to impose coronavirus restrictions and extend its reach beyond February.

Police arrested four demonstrators who attacked them as they rallied to protest the plan in front of the lower house in Prague.

Amid the record surge, the day-to-day increase of infections reached a record of almost 55,000 last Wednesday. It was almost 30,000 on Monday with the 7-day infection rate at 2,318 per 100,000 residents.

A number of COVID-19 patients needing hospitalization jumped by 900 in 10 days to reach 2,430 on Monday but less than 200 required intensive care in last six days.

The nation of 10.5 million has 6.8 million people fully vaccinated and 3.8 million who have received a booster shot.

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