There is a new wave of coronavirus risk in Europe, where after ten weeks of declining cases, infections start to increase again. The alarm comes from the director of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Europe, Hans Kluge, who spoke of a “new wave in the European region unless we remain disciplined”. The Delta variant is under accusation, but also an increase in contacts, travel and the relaxation of restrictions.
Analyzing the various countries, the WHO cites the case of Portugal, which yesterday recorded the highest number of infections in a day since February, and Spain which recorded a sharp increase in infections among the twenties and adolescents. In Russia there is a record of deaths from complications attributable to Covid-19: today it reported 672 deaths in the last 24 hours, with infections on the rise. On the other hand, cases remain low in Germany, where 892 cases have been reported in the last 24 hours. Things are worse in the UK, where 26,068 new cases were confirmed yesterday, the highest figure since January 29.
From Catherine Smallwood, senior emergency officer at the European office of the World Health Organization, came an appeal: cities hosting football matches for Europeans should look beyond stadiums and pay attention to fan movements. This is to avoid super-diffusing events while the Covid-19 contagion grows in Europe. Smallwood said that “we must look beyond stadiums” to reduce infections.
That is, attention must be paid to what happens ” around the stadiums. How do people get there? Do they travel in large crowded bus convoys? Are they taking individual protective measures when they do? “Smallwood wondered. Which also invites us to look at what happens after matches, at club rallies for example.” If this happens, there will be new cases. ” he continued, because ” what we do know is that as transmission increases ” of the virus ” large mass gatherings can act as amplifiers in terms of transmission ”.
Asked if the Europeans could be a “super diffuser” event, WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge replied: “I hope not, but this cannot be ruled out”.