Czech Republic Asks WHO For Emergency Help Against COVID-19 Surge

The World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed to send an emergency medical team to the Czech Republic to help fight coronavirus following a Czech government request. The WHO is ready to provide medical teams that could join Czech hospitals. So far, the Ministry of Health has asked for two doctors and 15 nurses.

First reported by Radio Prague, the WHO’s request follows assistance from the U.S., which agreed to send military doctors and medical workers to the country. Volunteers have also answered the call for help, reports Reuters.

According to the AP and Reuters, thousands of healthcare professionals are currently unable to work because they’re infected, possibly topping 10,000. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, with an average infection rate of 1,586 per 100,000 people, the country ranks second in the EU, behind Belgium.

While the government attests that there’s still sufficient ICUs capacity, it has acknowledged that it’s facing problems with infected health care workers.

The move comes just days after the appointment of a new health minister. It also marks a turnaround of sorts for Prime Minister Andrej Babi┼í, who tweeted in September that the WHO should “keep quiet” after it called for an increase in contact tracing capacity.