Lack of COVID awareness at Euro final ‘devastating’—WHO

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FILE PHOTO: Soccer – Euro 2020 – Remaining – Followers collect for Italy v England – Wembley Stadium, London, Britain – July 11, 2021 England followers collect in the course of the match exterior Wembley Stadium Motion Pictures through Reuters/Lee Smith

GENEVA – A WHO epidemiologist mentioned she had been devastated to observe unmasked crowds singing and shouting on the Euro 2020 soccer last in London on Sunday, expressing issues that it will spur COVID-19 transmission, together with the Delta variant.

Britain is dealing with a brand new wave of COVID-19 pushed by the extra transmissible variant regardless of having one of many world’s highest vaccination charges. It plans to scrap most remaining anti-coronavirus restrictions on July 19, in a transfer that worries some scientists.

In unusually forthright feedback from the U.N. well being company, which often refrains from remarking on the insurance policies of particular person member states, its COVID-19 technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove known as the sight of the greater than 60,000 spectators on the match between Italy and England “devastating”.

“Am I alleged to be having fun with watching transmission taking place in entrance of my eyes?” she tweeted within the late phases of the match.

“The #COVID19 pandemic will not be taking a break tonight … #SARSCoV2 #DeltaVariant will make the most of unvaccinated folks, in crowded settings, unmasked, screaming/shouting/singing. Devastating.”

A day of alcohol-fuelled festivities had begun with rowdy scenes in central London and tens of hundreds made their technique to the nationwide stadium for the sport, with flares being let off in railway stations and singing on trains.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson this month defended the choice to permit greater than 60,000 folks to attend the ultimate, saying it was being hosted in a “cautious and managed method with testing of all people who goes there”. He says vaccines have created a “appreciable wall of immunity”.

Globally, the speed of COVID-19 an infection is rising. There have been over 2.6 million new instances final week, with Europe experiencing a pointy improve of 30 %, the WHO mentioned in its newest epidemiological replace.

Greater than 4 million folks have died because the begin of the pandemic.

The WHO’s emergencies head Michael Ryan additionally urged nations final week to make use of excessive warning when lifting COVID-19 restrictions, in order “to not lose the beneficial properties you’ve made”.

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