Coronavirus Pandemic

WHO sounds alarm over Euro 2020 as Covid cases soar

Filed on July 2, 2021

Hundreds of cases have been detected among spectators attending Euro games

The World Health Organization (WHO) called Thursday for better monitoring of Euro 2020 football matches as Covid infections climb again in Europe, fuelled by the deadly Delta variant that is racing around the globe.

Hundreds of cases have been detected among spectators attending Euro games across the continent, with carriers of the Delta strain detected in Copenhagen, and infected Scots and Finns returning from London and Saint Petersburg respectively.

In a bid to boost protection, European football’s governing body UEFA has cancelled all tickets sold to UK residents for England’s quarter-final against Ukraine in Rome this weekend.

Russia posted record virus deaths for the third day running on Thursday, while in Britain — where a Euro semi-final and the final take place next week — infections are soaring despite a strong vaccination drive.

Portugal is struggling to contain the Delta variant too and on Thursday decided to re-impose a night curfew on 45 towns including the capital Lisbon from the weekend.

“There will be a new wave in the WHO European region unless we remain disciplined,” the UN agency’s Europe director Hans Kluge warned.

The region had seen a 10 percent rise in cases over the past week, “driven by increased mixing, travel, gatherings and easing of social restrictions”.

Asked about whether the Euro championship may be acting as a “super-spreader” event, Kluge replied: “I hope not... but this can’t be excluded.”

The coronavirus has killed more than 3.9 million people worldwide, according to an AFP tally.

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