Czech Republic and Low COVID-19 Mortality in the Heart of Europe: Possible Explanations

Jiri Benes, M.D., PhD; Alexander M. Celko, M.D., PhD; Petr Widimsky, MD., DrSc., FESC., FACC


Eur Heart J. 2020;41(40):3876-3879. 

In This Article

Hospital Admissions for COVID-19

The experience of all Czech hospitals during this period is very similar: in early March (after the first COVID-19 hospital admissions occurred in the country) every large hospital transformed at least one of its departments into a COVID clinic. This transformation took place very quickly (within 7–10 days) including dedicated staff assigned from other departments to these new clinics. Simultaneously, most elective procedures (especially those requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation) were immediately postponed. Thus, the healthcare services were well prepared for a COVID-19 tsunami, which however did not occur. Most of the capacity of these improvised COVID clinics remained empty. By early May, these clinics are returning to their original function, and hospitals are resuming all elective procedures. The peak number of COVID-19 patients treated in Czech hospitals was 446 (42 per million on 9 April 2020); currently it has decreased to 239, i.e. currently (May 9) only 23 patients per million population are in Czech hospitals with COVID-19.