July 10, 2020 / 3:57 PM / 25 days ago

Czech coronavirus cases top 13,000 after recent uptick

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Republic reported 82 new cases of the novel coronavirus by late afternoon on Friday, bringing its total since the start of the pandemic above 13,000, after a recent uptick in infections caused by local outbreaks.

The country of 10.7 million has reported 352 deaths from COVID-19, far fewer than its Western European neighbours. It was one of the first European countries to impose drastic lockdown measures to fight the pandemic in March, but has lifted many restrictions since May.

Since June 18, it has reported at least 100 new cases a day 14 times, most recently on Thursday when the total was 105. The largest spike came on June 28 when 305 new cases were reported.

The rise has largely been attributed to an outbreak in an eastern mining region, which prompted state coal miner OKD to close its mines in the area in early July.

Health officials have said the outbreak there was being contained but the government has come under criticism for slow action. Other smaller outbreaks have also been seen in two other local areas in the last week.

** For an interactive graphic on new coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic: tmsnrt.rs/3dIscS3

Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Toby Chopra

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