Covid-19: How The Czech Republic's Response Went Wrong

- Oct 28, 2020-

The Czech Republic was praised for its swift initial response to the coronavirus crisis, but seven months on it's now recording 15,000 new cases a day and has the second-highest per capita death rate over seven days in the world. So what went wrong?

Letnany Exhibition Grounds on the northern outskirts of Prague is usually where you go to check out the latest caravans or fitted kitchens.

But its cavernous halls are now home to a ghostly field hospital, built by the army in just over seven days. On Sunday it was formally handed over to Prague's main infectious diseases hospital.

"Our task is to enhance the capacity of civilian hospitals," said Colonel Ladislav Slechta, commander of the Czech Army's Military Medical Agency which built the facility.

"This is to create conditions for them to accept more seriously ill patients and of course save their lives," he added.

The reserve facility has 500 beds, including 10 ICU units and an MRI scanner. If needed, it will be staffed by 200 armies medical personnel - 20 doctors, 70 nurses, and the remainder logistics troops.