PRAGUE, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- Tougher measures went into effect on Wednesday in the Czech Republic as the country battles one of Europe's highest COVID-19 spikes.
Schools switched to remote learning as of Wednesday except for kindergartens and special schools for the disabled, according to rules announced on Monday by the Health Ministry.
Other measures already in force include closing all restaurants, bars and clubs and banning gatherings of more than six people. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is banned in public places, and it is now mandatory to wear face masks at outdoor public transport (train, tram and bus) stops.
Hospitals in the Czech Republic have also begun postponing non-urgent medical procedures.
Most measures will apply until the end of the current state of emergency on Nov. 3. The education-related restrictions are valid at least until Nov. 1.
A state of emergency has been in force in the whole territory of the Czech Republic since Oct. 5.
On Tuesday, the country reported 8,325 new confirmed cases of the disease, the second-highest daily count since the pandemic started. It was only the second time this number had surpassed 8,000, according to the Health Ministry.
This total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country now stands at 129,747. Hospitalizations and deaths have risen to 2,503 and 1,106, respectively.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), face masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress COVID-19 transmission and save lives.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreaks in early 2020, wearing masks in public has been widely accepted in Asian countries like China, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam to limit the spread of COVID-19. Enditem