A girl looks up next to a woman after placing flowers at the Old Town Square in Prague, on March 22, 2021, where thousands of crosses have been drawn onto the pavement to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of the first Czech Covid-19 patient. Photo: AFP/Michal Cizek

Covid-19 reinfections are growing fast in the Czech Republic, which now has the world’s highest per capita death rate from the disease, a state health institute said on Tuesday.

The number of reinfections jumped to 1,400 by February 28 from 158 registered at the end of January and 56 at the end of 2020, data from the National Institute of Public Health have shown.

“The reinfection rate is growing because of the significant number of Covid-19 cases during the autumn wave,” the institute said in a statement.

The EU member of 10.7 million people has so far registered more than 25,000 deaths from almost 1.5 million Covid-19 cases.

The figures make it the world’s leader in deaths per capita and second-worst in cases per capita, according to an AFP tally based on data per 100,000 inhabitants over the past 14 days.

The country managed to contain the first wave of the disease last spring, but it has been struggling to tame the spread since last summer.

The institute said the interval between the first and second occurrences of the disease was 68-359 days with a median of 142 days, while the median age of those getting Covid again was 42.

Given the data, the institute said it would still recommend people who already had Covid-19 to get a vaccine, though “with a certain interval.”

A recent Danish study published in The Lancet magazine showed initial Covid-19 infection was likely to bestow 80% protection from reinfection among under-65s, while elderly people were more prone to reinfection.