Since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the case-fatality rate has declined significantly in Czechia. Recently, a spike in daily confirmed cases was observed, likely indicating the onset of a second wave. However, despite the increase in new cases, the case-fatality rate has continued to decrease, likely the result of higher testing capacity, social distancing, and health services adaptation compared to the beginning of the outbreak.
In March, the government announced nationwide quarantine rules and restrictions. Czechia was the first country to include mandatory face-covering in its restriction rules. As a result, during the first wave of the pandemic, the case-fatality rate was about 3.5% (Figure 1). However, by the early summer, the government started to ease restrictions. Consequently, the number of newly confirmed cases started to increase as of early August. Currently, Czechia is reporting a high number of daily confirmed cases per million population in Europe, likely entering the second wave of the pandemic. Many neighbouring countries have enforced travel restrictions to and from Czechia. Although the government has increased restrictions recently, economic contraction during the first wave would likely prevent the government from further tightening restrictions. Despite the increase in cases, the case-fatality rate reduced to about 1% in September (Figure 1), with the country’s number of deaths per million population and hospitalisations among the lowest in Europe.
Due to widespread testing, a significant increase in daily testing capacity has been observed in Czechia; as a result, positive test rates have declined (Figures 2 and 3). Higher test counts might be one of the factors that contributed toward a lower case-fatality rate. More testing would result in a higher number of infected individuals being identified and isolated, thus providing better protection to vulnerable individuals. Additionally, identifying new cases earlier contributes to improved patient outcomes.
Healthcare providers are better prepared compared to the beginning of the outbreak in terms of resource availability and allocations. For example, Czechia has a high number of hospital beds, allowing for proper isolation and treatment of infected patients. As such, GlobalData epidemiologists expect to continue to see a decline in case-fatality over the next month. However, it is important to note that this trend may be temporary if the healthcare system becomes overburdened.
Figure 1: Case-Fatality Rate of Covid-19 in Czechia (%), Men and Women, All Ages, March–September.
Figure 2: Daily Covid-19 Tests in Czechia (N), Men and Women, All Ages, March–September.
Figure 3: Positive Covid-19 Test Rate in Czechia (%), Men and Women, All Ages, March–September.