NewsWorldCovid-19: WHO calls for better monitoring of Euro supporters

Covid-19: WHO calls for better monitoring of Euro supporters


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While the number of Covid cases is on the rise in Europe, the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged host cities to better monitor Euro football spectators.

Should we see the premises of a fourth wave? The cases of Covid-19 started to increase again last week in Europe, after ten consecutive weeks of decline, announced Thursday, July 1, the WHO, against a background of progression of the Delta variant and fears of the spread of the virus with the matches of the Euro.

“There will be a new wave in the European region unless we stay disciplined,” WHO Europe director Hans Kluge warned at an online press conference.

Asked about concerns related to the last matches of Euro football as cases increase in some host cities (London, Baku and Saint Petersburg), WHO Europe called for better monitoring of spectators, not just in stadiums .

After ten weeks of continuous decline, the number of contaminations increased last week by 10% in the Europe region (53 countries) – due, according to Hans Kluge, “to the increase in brewing, travel, gatherings and the relaxation of social restrictions “.

WHO Europe predicts that the so-called Delta variant, initially detected in India, will become “dominant” by August, confirming the projection of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The organization expects it to be the cause of 70% of new European cases in early August – and 90% in late August.

“But in August, the region will not be fully vaccinated” and “largely without restrictions”, underlined H. Kluge, recalling that 63% of Europeans had not yet had the first dose.

>> To see: Covid-19 in Europe: entry into force of the health pass to boost travel this summer

“What we are observing is that (a new wave) could arrive before the fall,” warned Catherine Smallwood, another head of the UN health organization.

This Delta variant is between 40 and 60% more transmissible than Alpha, first detected in the UK, according to available studies.

Whether conducted in the laboratory or based on actual cases detected, studies converge on one point: receiving a single dose of vaccine provides only limited protection against the Delta variant.

Call for vigilance

Asked about the risk of Euro football playing the role of “super contaminant”, Hans Kluge replied: “I hope not, but I cannot rule it out”.

The host cities of the last matches of Euro football must ensure better monitoring of spectator traffic, including before their arrival and after their departure from the stadium, according to the WHO.

“We need to look well beyond the stadiums themselves,” said C. Smallwood, when asked about recommendations in the face of rising cases in London and St. Petersburg, and more recently in Baku.

The British capital is due to host the semi-finals and the final of the tournament next week; Russia’s second city will host the quarter-final between Switzerland and Spain on Friday. As for the capital of Azerbaijan, it welcomes Denmark-Czech Republic on Saturday.

>> To see: Spain: a giant Covid outbreak expands after student trips to the Balearic Islands

Several hundred cases have been detected in spectators of Euro matches, including Scots returning from London, Finns returning from St. Petersburg or spectators in the Copenhagen stadium who were found to be carriers of the Delta variant.

“What we have to look at around the stadiums is how people get there. Do they move in crowded bus convoys or do they apply individual measures?” underlined C. Smallwood.

WHO Europe also calls to ensure the activities of spectators leaving the stadium. “Do they go to busy bars or pubs?”

Beyond the Euro football, the UN organization recommends great vigilance for all large gatherings of the summer

With AFP



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