Young Roma in the Czech Republic call on community to protect themselves from COVID-19 and not believe everything they read online
In a video posted to the ROMEA TV YouTube channel, well-known figures from among those who are allies of Roma or members of the Romani community are calling on people to follow the Czech Government's measures now in place against the pandemic by wearing face masks wherever required, by not gathering until it is safe to do so, and by not making light of the situation and sharing disinformation about it through social media. Vocalist Terezie Ondičová, aka "Tessie", who has competed in the singing contest called "The Voice" and formed a band called Omerta tým ("Team Omerta") with the young Slovak musician Richard Adam, aka "Vajdis", appeals to Romani people to wear face masks in the video.
Tessie and Vajdis say that if people follow the instructions, they believe they will see their fans in concert soon. "I believe that if we follow the measures ordered, wear face masks, and keep our distance from each other, we can beat this together," Tessie told ROMEA TV.
"We'll see each other soon on stages, in cafés and such," the singer said. For his part, Vajdis told ROMEA TV that "Wearing a face mask is fundamental."
"Wherever there are other people, wear a face mask, it won't kill you to do that. By doing so you protect yourself, your entire family, and those around you," Vajdis told ROMEA TV.
Jitka Votavová, coordinator of the Romani Scholarship Program of ROMEA o.p.s., is making the same appeal to Romani students and others. "I would like to appeal to all of you, despite your justified frustation with the situation, to pay attention to which sources of information about the coronavirus you are relying on," she told ROMEA TV.
"You should avoid the disinformation websites and disinformation videos that are shared widely through social media. Be careful about all the populist and extremist movements in the Czech Republic who are very glad to abuse this situation to meet their own needs," she told ROMEA TV.
Miss Czech Republic 2019, Nikola Kokyová, also called on people to follow the anti-pandemic measures. "Just like you, I, too, do not find the Government orders pleasant, she told ROMEA TV.
"Following the measures complicates my daily life," the beauty queen said. "Nevertheless, it's necessary that we follow them and that we are considerate not just of ourselves, but also toward those around us."
Michal Miko, director of the RomanoNet organization, speaks in Romanes during his appeal. "Mangav tumen, kaj te ačhuven khere, kaj te džan avri kana ča kampel," Miko told ROMEA TV.
"He dikhen pre peskero sastipen," the director said. The daily growth in new cases of COVID-19 infection in the Czech Republic has exceeded 14 000 for the second time since the beginning of the pandemic.
Last Thursday laboratories recorded a total of 14 151 new infections, roughly 800 fewer than last Wednesday, which set the country's one-day record. Another 17 deaths were added to Czech statistics as of late afternoon last Thursday, bringing the total of those who had died "with COVID-19" to 1 845 people, with the highest daily number of deaths having been announced last Wednesday (113).
According to the most recent data published on the Czech Health Ministry website, there are 4 777 people in hospital, 735 of whom are in critical condition. Because of the rapid spread of infection, in-person retail sales and service provision have been prohibited since 22 October, with some exceptions, and people's movements have been restricted.
People are still allowed to shop in person for basic goods such as groceries or medicines and other selected products. The Government has granted an exception to the order closing in-person service provision for automobile service shops or delivery distribution points.
Movement in public within the Czech Republic is allowed only when commuting to work, shopping for necessities, and visiting the doctor or family. People are also being allowed to visit nature preserves or to travel to their summer cottages.
Only two people who are not members of the same household are permitted to gather. As of today it is also no longer possible to visit detention facilities or prisons.
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