Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech stated on Monday that he had submitted his resignation after plenty of criticism over the country’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Czech Republic having a surge in cases over recent weeks.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis thanked Vojtech for his work throughout his time as minister through a message on his Twitter account, saying that he could have been remembered as the country’s best ever health minister if he did not have to use up all of his time to fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Babis added that “He did more work in the ministry than most of his predecessors. And he managed the first wave of the virus unbelievably. I understand that it must have been too much for him, that he was disgusted with politics and the media and decided to leave.”
Speaking on his own time as minister, Vojtech said that he “performed the function with my heart and my colleagues. Many changes have been implemented in those three years”.
Despite his resignation, he said that he has “nothing to be ashamed of”.
Vojtech has spent less than three years as Health Minister, after being appointed in December 2017 by Czech President Milos Zeman.
Vojtech explained that the resignation comes as a way of making way for a new Health Minister to find the solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the country experiencing a sharp rise in new cases over recent weeks, leading to the Czech government to reactivate the Central Crisis staff to meet late on Monday.
Throughout the last few weeks, the pace of the Czech Republic’s surge in cases is the second fastest in Europe, only behind Spain, with the country lifting all of its measures just before summer during the first wave of the pandemic.
Up until the start of September, the Czech Republic’s highest daily new cases count stood at 503 on August 21, yet since then, the highest has risen to 3,123 daily new cases on September 17.
At the start of September, total active cases stood at 6,576, yet this rapidly rose to 24,032 as of September 20.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, over the last 14 days, the Czech Republic had 193 cases per 100,000 people.