Czechs Extend Lockdown for Two Weeks as Cabinet Defies Lawmakers

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The Czech government prolonged its pandemic lockdown measures, escalating its conflict with lawmakers opposed to the extension even as the country struggles to contain one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Europe.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Andrej Babis on Sunday agreed to maintain the state of emergency for two more weeks, keeping the legal framework allowing it to shut shops and services, curb movement of people and impose a nighttime curfew. Babis’s rivals said the move violated the constitution.

Czechs Extend Lockdown for Two Weeks as Cabinet Defies Lawmakers

The minority government is clashing with the opposition over how to stem the pandemic and warned that softening social distancing rules would threaten to overrun hospitals. The infighting follows a decision by neighboring Germany to restrict travel from the Czech Republic over concerns about aggressive coronavirus mutations.

After a successful campaign to halt the disease last spring, new infections and deaths per capita in the nation of 10.7 million are now among the highest on the continent. Opposition parties, which last week torpedoed a government request to extend the lockdown, say the measures are failing to bring the coronavirus under control.

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