COVID-19-Czech positive president appoints new prime minister from Plexiglas cubicle


Czech President Miloš Zeman is the leader of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) at Ranny Chateau near Prague, Czech Republic, on November 28, separated by a transparent wall after a positive COVID-19 test. Petr Fiala has been appointed as the new Prime Minister. 2021. (Roman fondras / pool via Reuters)

Prague-Czech President Miloš Zeman appointed Prime Minister Petr Fiara of the opposition alliance on Sunday at a ceremony from a plexiglass cube after being tested positive for COVID-19.

Fiara has banished incumbent Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his allies and is leading a block of five opposition parties that won the election in October.

The new government needs to tackle a new wave of coronavirus infections and the energy crisis after the collapse of a large power company. The coalition also said it plans to recreate the 2022 state budget to reduce the large deficit.

“The new government has a very complex period and there are many challenges … we want to be a changing government for the future,” Fiara said in a press conference.

He expected his cabinet to be appointed in mid-December.

The new Prime Minister also called on people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and praised medical staff for the increasing number of cases.

Opponents of the government’s anti-coronavirus measures, such as vaccinations and Christmas market bans, gathered in Prague late Sunday for a protest rally.

Only 58.5% of Czechs are vaccinated against the coronavirus. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, this is compared to the European Union’s average of 65.8 percent.

Zeman held an inauguration from a plexiglass cube after a positive coronavirus test. Zeman, who arrived in a wheelchair accompanied by a doctor in full protective clothing, became infected with the virus after being hospitalized for six weeks due to an unrelated illness.