The Czech Republic and Slovakia reported daily record numbers of new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, a day before the governments of neighboring European countries plan to agree to new restrictions in response to rising infections.
The daily number in the Czech Republic rose to 22,479 new cases, exceeding the previous record set on January 7 by about 5,000 cases and more than 8,000 cases from last week. The country’s infection rate rose to 813 new cases per 100,000 residents during the past seven days, up from 558 in the previous week.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said the government is considering several options, including following neighboring Austria in ordering to shut down unvaccinated residents. Another measure under review is no longer allowing people to attend public events or go to bars and restaurants based on coronavirus test results.
Slovakia reported 8,342 new cases of the virus, surpassing the previous record of 7,244 cases on Friday. The Slovak government plans to impose new restrictions on unvaccinated people as the country’s hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger said his government would vote on Thursday on recommendations from an advisory group of medical experts. Among the proposals, which will be presented for three weeks, are banning unvaccinated individuals from non-essential stores, malls, gyms, swimming pools, hotels and public gatherings.
The Slovakian Ministry of Health said that 81 percent of the 2,879 hospitalized patients in the country have not received a coronavirus vaccine.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia have lower than average vaccination rates in the 27 European Union countries.
-From the Associated Press, last updated at 6:50 a.m. ET
What’s happening all over Canada
What is happening around the world
As of early Wednesday morning, more than 254.4 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. The database showed that the reported global death toll was more than 5.1 million.
in a EuropeAustrian coronavirus infections hit a new record on Wednesday, the third day of a lockdown for those who have not been fully vaccinated, with the aim of halting the increase.
Nearly 65 percent of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated against the virus, one of the lowest rates in Western Europe. Austria also has one of the highest infection rates on the continent, with a seven-day infection rate of 925 per 100,000 people.
In the AmericasOn Tuesday, a judicial panel consolidated 34 lawsuits challenging the COVID-19 vaccine rule at the Biden administration’s workplace in the Sixth U.S. Court of Appeals, a venue favored by opponents of the rule.
In the Middle eastBritain has advised against all travel to Lebanon except for essential travel due to continued instability, a new blow to the country in the midst of a financial and economic collapse.
in a AfricaOn Tuesday, Kenyan health officials reported 75 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths.
In the Asia Pacific South Korean authorities said they plan to reduce the gap in booster doses given to the elderly to four months from six as they look to curb the rise in serious cases.
The head of the Philippine Food and Drug Agency said that the Philippines has approved the emergency use of the vaccine by Novavax, which is the ninth vaccine approved in the country.
— From Reuters, The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated at 6:45 a.m. ET