Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday July 14, 2021
Super spreader Celebrations
In late June, Habs fans caused quite the ruckus following the team’s series-winning Game 6 Thursday. The morning after, some voiced their concerns over the potential spread of COVID-19 through the crowd.
“Obviously, I was also happy with the results of (Thursday’s) game,” said Dr Jesse Papenburg, an infectious disease specialist at the MUHC. “But I have to say I’m a little bit concerned with these types of mass gatherings.”
Montreal reported just 30 new coronavirus cases on June 25, a continuation of a downward trend of infections in the city. Still, the virus remains active — especially among those aged 10-40, most of whom have not yet been fully vaccinated. Experts worry continued celebrations could cause infections to spike. (The Montreal Gazette)
In July, British authorities warned of the dangers of large gatherings for yesterday’s Euro 2020 football final, fearful of the highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant that is firing outbreaks across the world.
Many nations have been forced to reimpose curbs as they battle outbreaks accelerated by the variant — which was first detected in India — while trying to ramp up vaccinations to allow their economies to reopen.
London was set to host more than 60,000 fans at Wembley Stadium for the virus-delayed Euro 2020 final, the biggest crowd at a British football match since the start of the pandemic, as England take on Italy.
Authorities are particularly concerned about the risk of large numbers at fan zones and pubs to watch England’s first appearance in a major football final in more than half a century.
But the fans do not appear to have been put off. Hundreds converged on Wembly many hours before kick-off, singing and swigging beer.
Health experts have expressed concerns about Euro 2020 events becoming super-spreaders throughout the tournament, especially in Britain and Russia because of the Delta variant.
Authorities in Denmark, Finland and Scotland have already reported infections among fans after they attended Euro matches. (The Daily Star)
Meanwhile, The Olympic Games in Japan will be held without spectators at venues in and around the capital after a spike in coronavirus infections.
Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa made the announcement after talks with officials and organisers on Thursday.
A state of emergency in Tokyo will run throughout the Games, to combat coronavirus.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters it would run from 12 July and remain in place until 22 August.
Bars and restaurants will not be allowed to serve alcohol and must close by 20:00 (11:00 GMT).
Venues in Tokyo and other areas near the capital city will not be allowed to hold events with fans during the Games.
But stadiums in the regions of Fukushima, Miyagi and Shizuoka will be permitted to have spectators up to 50% of capacity and up to 10,000 people.
Coronavirus infections are rising in Tokyo as the 23 July opening ceremony edges closer.
There has been widespread opposition to the Games in Japan, with calls for them to be postponed or cancelled. (BBC)