The COVID-19 pandemic has surged in the Czech Republic and the Prime Minister has ordered stringent lockdowns. While this European nation of 10.7 million doesn’t have nearly enough vaccines, they are apparently embracing ivermectin, the drug already in use in multiple Eastern European nations. As TrialSite has reported, Slovakia, Macedonia, and Bulgaria have formally accepted the generic, FDA approved drug due to its ability to inhibit the novel coronavirus. Now in a recent entry in Czech Republic media the head cardiologist of a prominent hospital reports that a major shipment of the drug has arrived at his facility. Apparently, they have purchased 20,000 doses and will serve as some form of distribution hub for ivermectin. Lots of physicians in other hospitals are calling and requesting the drug. In an interview, the head of the Internal Cardiology Clinic at the University Hospital of St. Peter’s and affiliated with University Hospital Brna, Michal Rezek, shares more.
COVID-19 in Czech Republic
Cases have been spiking as late due to a highly contagious variant filling up hospitals by the end of February. One of the hardest hit of European countries, lockdowns have followed. In fact, the Prime Minister Adrej Babis declared last Friday a new series of measures, including protect life and stop transmission. Acknowledging that the government made past mistakes, the Prime Minister declared that Czech’s need to follow the rules moving forward.
The variant-driven surge, first monitored in the UK, has led to a new scary reality here that of the 7,176 COVID-19 patients in Czech hospitals, a record high 1,531 are in intensive care due to COVID-19. With 1.2 million total cases, the nation of 10.7 million people has lost nearly 21,000 lives to COVID-19.
In fact, measures are so rigid that authorities are stopping even local travel telling them to not leave their municipality. Nursery schools will close as will schools for children with disabilities. A biochemist here from Prague’s Charles University, Jan Konvalinka, was on record at a local radio station to be “…better late than never, we have to stop it somehow.”
Konvalinka and a large group of researchers and scientists have pleaded with the government to apply immediate restrictions to reduce the number of infections back down to 1,000 per week. Just last Thursday, the country reported 14,457 cases in one day.
Kristina Šopfová, Noviky.cv the chief cardiologist reports that the other physicians from other hospitals in the Czech Republic are communicating and requesting shipment of the drug to their centers. Dr. Rezek reports that an ivermectin shipment for up to 20,000 patients arrived at his hospital’s pharmacy and it will be distributed to other hospitals. St. Peter’s has 130 hospitalized for COVID-19. They also treat others on an ambulatory basis and keep 500 doses of the drug in stock. Apparently, the hospital procured a large amount of ivermectin to assess the interest across the country—and the interest is there.
What about Vaccines?
The Czech Republic has communicated with the EU nations for support to access vaccines products but thus far there are shortages in Europe’s procured vaccines. France did agree to send up to 100,000 doses of vaccine by mid Match and apparently Israel has donated 5,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. Thus far, 632,820 vaccine shots have been administered in this nation.
Now in a bind, the government here is also turning to the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to mitigate growing risk from delayed EU-procured shots.