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Czech singer Hana Horka dies after catching COVID-19 intentionally

Hana Horka, 57, died from COVID-19 two days after saying on social media that she was in recovery

By Charlotte Krol

Hana Horka sings live with Asonance in 2015
Hana Horka. (Picture: YouTube/Asonance)

An unvaccinated Czech folk singer has died after intentionally becoming infected with COVID-19 so that she could obtain a recovery pass to access certain venues.

Hana Horka, 57, died on Sunday (January 16), two days after testing positive for the disease. Her son, Jan Rek, who caught COVID-19 over Christmas, told BBC News that his mother had decided to expose herself to the virus.

Rek and his father, who are fully vaccinated, both tested positive over the festive period and went into self-isolation, although Horka didn’t stay away from them.

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

Horka was a member of the oldest Czech folk groups, Asonance. She wanted to become infected with COVID-19 so that there would be fewer restrictions on her movement, Rek explained.

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

Days before her death Horka wrote on social media that she was recovering from the disease. “Now there will be theatre, sauna, a concert,” she said.

On Sunday she told her family that she was feeling better and got ready to go for a walk. But then her back started hurting and she went to lie down in her bedroom.

“In about 10 minutes it was all over,” Rek said. “She choked to death”.

Rek said that he wanted to share the tragic story to warn people against the dangers of not getting vaccinated or intentionally trying to get infected.

He stressed, though, that his mother was not some bizarre conspiracy theorist. “Her philosophy was that she was more OK with the idea of catching Covid than getting vaccinated. Not that we would get microchipped or anything like that,” he said.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the country of 10.7m people reached a new daily high yesterday (January 19), with 28,469 reported cases.

Approximately 63 per cent of the Czech Republic’s total population has been fully vaccinated, compared with an average of 69 per cent across the EU.