Health professionals are reassessing the current quarantine guidelines regarding the novel Coronavirus mutations that have made their way to the Czech Republic.
The nation’s Chief Hygienist Jarmila Rážová went on Czech Television to explain that people who came into contact with someone infected with one of the Covid mutations and wore only cloth masks should quarantine while those wearing respirators may not be required to quarantine again even if they were closer than two meters away.
The so-called Kent-variant, a highly infectious strain first discovered in the UK, has been confirmed to reach the Czech Republic and is believed to be 30 to 70 percent more contagious.
Epidemiologists believe that anyone coming into contact with someone infected with a variant, for any amount of time and not just the previously stated 15 minutes, may be at risk.
“The truth is that the minimum contact time of up to 15 minutes has been omitted precisely because new mutations, especially the British one, are more infectious in a shorter time than the original coronavirus,” Rážová told CeskaTelevize.
Anyone suspected of carrying a British, Brazilian, or South African mutation of the virus will be subject to quarantine and the discretion of the hygienist as well as anyone they have been in contact with.
Whether a quarantine is mandated will now be considered by epidemiologists on a case-by-case basis after a thorough investigation. Rážová explained the significance of the new assessments.
“The change occurred in the fact that people who suspect a mutation are routed preferentially only by epidemiologists, not by call center assistants.”
Quarantines prompted by suspected exposure to new variants will also include those who have been vaccinated as health professionals are still monitoring the efficacy of vaccines against the Coronavirus mutations.
Rážová went on to stress the importance of respirators, social distancing, and proper hygiene to help combat daily infection rates.
In recent days, recorded infections across the country have been around 8,167 daily, down from over 10,000 a week before.
Now in the country’s fourth wave of the pandemic, the death toll stands at a grim 24,667.