“At the moment we are in the initial phase of exponential growth,” Prymula describes the current situation of the development of coronavirus infection in the Czech Republic. “Now it will be up to all of us to stop the curve,” he added, urging people to comply with government measures. “We know that many people do not want to respect the wearing of veils and the like. I would now ask them to last a month. Without it, we will all have a problem, “says the expert.
Despite the high numbers of newly infected, according to Prymula, the official figures are just the tip of the iceberg. “There are a lot of background cases going on here,” he explains. The probability of infection is now much higher than it was at the beginning of the epidemic. “There’s a viral load in society when we joined a group in the spring, so we had about a tenth chance of getting infected compared to what we are now,” says the epidemiologist.
We test like in the spring
In addition, according to Prymula, the record daily increases in new cases are not the result of a large number of those tested. “Again, we are not testing so intensively, we are somewhere in the second third of Europe, which means that many countries are testing much more,” the Czechia compares with other countries. Moreover, even compared to the month at the beginning of the epidemic, the number of tests is not flattering. “We’re not doing that many more,” he says, adding that in the spring, test capacity ranged from eight to 12,000 tests a day. “Now we have reached 18,000 in that peak (top – editor’s note),” he says.
According to Prymula, the main indicator of how much is tested in a given country is the percentage of positive cases out of all tested. “There is a limit of 5%, who tests them a lot below it, who tests them a little above it,” he says, adding that the Czechia is already over five percent.
“At the moment when the first wave was managed, there was no interest in testing among the population,” Prymula explains why it is no longer being tested in the Czech Republic. “Hospitals that had open collection points and laboratories and that capacity was not used were gradually reduced,” he says. But now, according to him, capacity is increasing.
“What went wrong was the involvement of academia, which was ready and not,” Prymula describes the second reason. “The samples were convenient for testing in private laboratories. They, even though they had full capacity, did not want to let them go, “he says.
That, he said, should change now. “The academic sphere is getting into that system,” says the epidemiologist. According to him, with the involvement of academics, the Czechia is able to achieve a capacity of up to 30,000 PCR tests per day.