Czech folk singer dies after deliberately contracting Covid

A Czech folk singer died after she deliberately contracted Covid to obtain a health pass that would have allowed her to visit venues blocked to those without proof of vaccination or recent recovery from an infection, her family has said.

Hana Horka, 57, who was the vocalist for the band Asonance, died on Sunday, according to her son Jan Rek. She had voluntarily exposed herself to the virus when her husband and son, both vaccinated, caught it before Christmas, Rek told public radio iRozhlas.cz.

“She decided to continue to live normally with us and preferred to catch the disease than to get vaccinated,” he said on Monday.

Two days before her death, Horka posted on social media: “I survived … It was intense. So now there will be the theatre, sauna, a concert … and an urgent trip to the sea.”

Proof of vaccination or a recent infection is required to access cultural and sports facilities as well as for travel and for visiting bars and restaurants in the EU member state, which is facing a soaring Covid count.

Rek blamed the death on a local anti-vax movement, saying its leaders had convinced his mother against vaccination and thus had “blood on their hands”.

“I know exactly who influenced her … It makes me sad that she believed strangers more than her proper family,” Rek said.

“It wasn’t just total disinformation but also views on natural immunity and antibodies acquired through infection,” he added.

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