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Czech Republic Reports Daily COVID-19 Infection Record

A medical staff member wearing a protective suit takes a swab sample of a person at a newly opened drive-in sampling station in Prague, Czech Republic, Oct. 7, 2020.

Officials in the Czech Republic reported a record number of new COVID-19 infections Wednesday, with nearly 4,500 new cases in one day.

The Czech Health Ministry said 4,457 people tested positive for the coronavirus Tuesday, almost 700 more than the previous record set last Friday.

With the infection surge over the past several weeks, the country is now seeing the virus spreading at the fastest rate in Europe.

At a Prague news conference Wednesday, Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek, said clearly the situation is “not good,” and the numbers show the pandemic is still on a steep rise in the nation.

Officials say most infected people still have no or mild symptoms, but the recent steep day-to-day increase in infections has been followed by an increase in hospitalizations and deaths from the virus.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reports 794 people have died of COVID-19 in the country since the beginning of the pandemic.

The recent rise in cases caused the government to declare a state of emergency, accompanied by restrictive measures that strictly limit public gatherings, limit store hours and the number of people in bars and restaurants, and closes some schools.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said the Czech Republic has reported 346.1 cases per 100,000 people over the past 14 days, surpassing for the first time Spain, which has seen 305.4 cases per 100,000, over the same period.