Czech Republic turns down help from German hospitals

Czech Health Minister Jan Blatný has rejected Germany's offer to relieve the country's overstretched Czech clinics in the border region by transporting corona patients to Bavaria and Saxony. That could lead people to believe the Czech Republic can't take care of its own citizens, he said. Commentators in Prague find this stance utterly incomprehensible.

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Aktuálně.cz (CZ) /

Foolish rejection

Aktuálně.cz takes the minister to task:

“Germany is our natural ally. But who cares? The minister rejected its help. The mayor of Cheb [on the German border] says the minister clearly doesn't understand that for decades now people here have lived almost entirely without borders, that they're free to cross them whenever they want to to shop, work, play sports or study. Anyone who refuses German aid is a fool. Especially since cooperation could save lives, and we ourselves have been unsuccessful in our bid to reduce the number of coronavirus deaths.”

Denik (CZ) /

Bavaria much closer than Prague

In Deník's view, the attitude of those in charge in Prague is nothing short of absurd:

“The situation in Cheb hospital has long been so complicated that even the town council and the public petitioned to have the border opened to facilitate patient transfers. In the end Germany offered to help. But rather than accepting, the Minister of Health sent a convoy of ambulances with patients to Prague with great fanfare. The trip to Selb in Bavaria would have taken less than half an hour. Now the hospital in Cheb is full again but the option of opening the border is still not being considered. What would happen if Germany needed help from us at some point?”