Matt Atlas

Zeman To Appoint Fiala Prime Minister On Sunday

President Milos Zeman should appoint ODS chairman Petr Fiala prime minister on Sunday, even though the president is infected with coronavirus. Prague Castle is still preparing the ceremony, the director of the presidential office Vratislav Mynář wants to consult with Zeman after his return from the Central Military Hospital (ÚVN) to the chateau in Lány. Chief Hygienist Pavla Svrčinová stated that everyone infected with coronavirus must remain in isolation for 14 days.

The president was transferred to ÚVN on Thursday after the infection proved. Zeman, according to the hospital, has no symptoms of covid-19, has received monoclonal antibodies that protect the infected from the severe course of the disease. The president should be transferred from the hospital to Lány on Saturday at 16:00, said the resigned prime minister Andrej Babiš (YES). Zeman was originally scheduled to appoint Fiala prime minister this afternoon, and was released from the ÚVN after more than 40 days on Thursday morning. However, he canceled today’s program due to renewed hospitalization.

Mynář spoke to Svrčinová today, he told ČTK. She told him that the infected person must remain in solitary confinement for 14 days, and that the president could not get an exception, and would consider it a bad signal to the public. According to the Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch (for YES), Fiala cannot be appointed in personal contact with Zeman. “The opinion of the ministry cannot be different. The methodology is valid and we cannot say that only for someone and not for someone,” he told reporters. He added that there is a general risk of criminal liability for intentional breaches of isolation.

Prague Castle announced today that the appointment of Fiala as Prime Minister will take place on Sunday at 11:00 at the castle in Lány in compliance with the valid hygienic-epidemiological measures. Fiala told reporters at the press conference that she did not know what the ceremony would look like. It should be specified during today and Saturday, after consulting the Castle with Svrčinová, he added.

The coalition of Spolu (ODS, TOP 09 and KDU-ČSL) and Pirates with STAN is ready to take over the government on December 16, said Fiala. According to him, any move in mid-December would be bad news. Zeman has so far planned to meet all the candidates for ministers gradually over the course of two weeks after the appointment of Fiala as prime minister.

Mynář stated that immediately after finding a possible infection in one worker in Lány, 24 employees of the Office of the President of the Republic were tested, all with a negative result. Today they were on PCR tests, their results are not yet available, he added.

According to ÚVN, Zeman is also vaccinated with the third booster dose of covid-19 vaccine. The data of the Ministry of Health show that after the third dose of the vaccine, 672 people became infected in the Czech Republic, half of them over the age of 65. 87 of them got to the hospitals, 17 needed intensive care. Almost 737,000 people have already undergone revaccination. According to the Czech Vaccine Society, protection rises again to 90 percent after a booster dose.