Anti-vax Czech singer dies after deliberately contracting coronavirus

21 January 2022, 10:18

Czech folk singer Hana Horka has died, her son has confirmed.
Czech folk singer Hana Horka has died, her son has confirmed. Picture: Facebook

By Sophie Barnett

A Czech folk singer who was opposed to having a coronavirus vaccine has died aged 57 after deliberately catching the disease, her son has said.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Hana Harka, lead vocalist for the band Asonance, died on Sunday after she voluntarily exposed herself to the the virus, her son Jan Rek said.

Her husband and son, who are both vaccinated, caught it before Christmas, Rek told public radio iRozhlas.cz.

Horka deliberately contracted the disease 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, Rek said.

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

"She should have isolated for a week because we tested positive. But she was with us the whole time," he said.

Read more: Face masks make people look more attractive, study finds

Read more: Morrisons cuts sick pay for unvaccinated workers

Czech folk singer Hana Horka has died, her son confirmed.
Czech folk singer Hana Horka has died, her son confirmed. Picture: Facebook

Proof of vaccination or recent infection from the virus is required in the Czech Republic to gain entry to many social and cultural venues, including bars, cafes and cinemas.

Horka had wanted to catch Covid so there would be fewer restrictions on her movement, Mr Rek explained.

Two days before she tragically died, she wrote on social media that she was recovering.

In a post on Facebook, she said: "I survived the lost Delta...

"Now there will be theatre, sauna, a concert.

"Life is here for me and for you too."

The number of Covid cases in the Czech Republic reached a new daily high on Wednesday, with 28,469 cases reported in a population of 10.7m people.

The government has recently introduced new measures to combat soaring cases, including mandatory testing for employees and schoolchildren.

Read more: 'Light at end of the tunnel' for UK in Covid fight says WHO, but expect a 'bumpy journey ahead'

Hana (left) has died age 57.
Hana (left) has died age 57. Picture: Facebook

Rek blamed his mother's 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."

Around 63% of the Czech Republic's total population has been fully vaccinated, compared with an average of 69% across the EU.

On Wednesday, the Czech government announced that it would cancel plans to introduce mandatory vaccination for some sections of society.

Earlier this month, thousands of people demonstrated in Prague and other cities against its introduction.