Three Months After Czechs Held 'Farewell Party' for COVID, Country Records Highest Daily Increase in Cases

Coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic, where thousands gathered for a dinner party on June 30 to say a "symbolic farewell" to the outbreak after lockdown measures were lifted, have surpassed 90,000. On Tuesday, the nation recorded its highest daily case count since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

The country reported 4,456 new infections, including 36 new deaths, on Tuesday, its largest-ever daily rise in cases and deaths.

On June 30, total confirmed cases in the country were at 11,895, with 349 COVID-19-related deaths.

On Wednesday, just over three months since the dinner was held, confirmed cases were reported to be at 90,022. The country's current death toll is at 794.

Nearly a fifth (158 deaths) of the country's total fatalities and nearly a quarter (22,179 cases) of its total cases were reported in the past seven days, according to a report Wednesday by the World Health Organization.

New cases in the Czech Republic have been increasing consistently since the week commencing July 13. The nation is currently "reporting community transmission" of the virus, with a 58 percent increase in its "14-day incidence value," according to the WHO.

The 14-day incidence value represents the "number of new cases reported per 100,000 population over the past 14 days. Percentages indicate change in 14-day cumulative incidence as compared to 14 days ago," the WHO said.

As of Tuesday, at least 40,440 of the country's total infections were reported to be active cases (those currently infected who are in hospital or recovering at home).

The country's average daily case count and average daily death toll remained flat for most of the outbreak, before both began rising sharply from early September.

Prague Czech Republic coronavirus farewell party 2020
Thousands seated together on the Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic at a mass dinner saying a symbolic farewell to the COVID-19 outbreak on June 30. Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images

The increases were recorded about two months after thousands were seated together at a long table spanning 1,640 feet on the Charles Bridge in Prague, the Czech capital.

The large-scale dinner gathering aimed "to celebrate the end of the coronavirus crisis," Ondrej Kobza, a cafe owner in Prague who organized the event, told Agence France-Presse at the time.

"We want to celebrate the end of the coronavirus crisis with people meeting up and showing they're no longer afraid to meet others, that they aren't afraid to accept a bite of a sandwich from someone," said Kobza.

The dinner, which the event organizer noted was only possible because there were hardly any tourists around at the time, was meant to be "a kind of celebration, to show that we are not afraid, that we go out and we won't be stuck at home," said Kobza.

The wider picture

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 35.9 million people across the globe since it was first reported in Wuhan, China, including over 7.5 million in the U.S. More than a million have died following infection, while more than 25 million have reportedly recovered as of Wednesday, according to JHU.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates countries with the most COVID-19 cases.

covid countris october 5
Statista

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates U.S. states with the most COVID-19 cases.

Spread of COVID-19 cases in U.S.
STATISTA