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This WHO scientist says the Euro 2020 final was ‘devastating’ because of potential COVID spread

The Euro 2020 Final featured Italy and England. COVID-19 may have been spreading

England supporters cheer in the stands before the start of the Euro 2020 soccer championship.
England supporters cheer in the stands before the start of the Euro 2020 soccer championship round of 16 match between England and Germany at Wembley stadium in London, Tuesday, June 29, 2021.
Frank Augstein, Associated Press

Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 technical lead, spoke out against the Euro 2020 Final after seeing such big crowds gathered together for the final match between Italy and England.

  • “Am I supposed to be enjoying watching transmission happening in front of my eyes?” she tweeted. “The #COVID19 pandemic is not taking a break tonight… #SARSCoV2 #DeltaVariant will take advantage of unvaccinated people, in crowded settings, unmasked, screaming/shouting/singing. Devastating.”

The Euro 2020 Final happened as COVID-19 has been spreading through England. The delta variant has been of particular concern for the country as restrictions have lifted, according to The Guardian. This is despite high vaccination rates among the English population.

  • The WHO has previously issued warnings against tournament crowds due to worries over the spread of the coronavirus, The Guardian reports.

The COVID-19 infection rate has been rising throughout the world recently. Per Reuters, there have been 2.6 million new COVID-19 cases in the last week. Europe has seen a 30% increase in cases as well in the last week.