Flood, Germany, Reuters ball EURO 2020: A win for COVID? COVID-19 Special

Tens of thousands of fans will take their seats at sunday’s final in london, but in japan there’s a different view. Tokyo’S olympics will take place in empty venues. The crowds of supporters seen as too risky in both regions covet 19 cases are rising. So are the europeans scoring ganon goal i’m rob watts in berlin? Welcome to this covid19 special the pandemic meant europe’s. Football fans were made to wait an extra year for euro 2020 to kick off, hence the confusing clash of name and date, but with the continent yet to rid itself of coronavirus. The european championship still didn’t come without risk. The joy of euro 2020 summed up by scotland fans. They were euphoric when their team earned a point against arch rivals, england at wembley, but their tournament came to an end soon after and there was another sting in the tail: a coveted outbreak on and off the pitch scotland midfielder billy gilmore tested positive, forcing him into Quarantine, a post game chat meant england’s ben chilwell and mason mount also had to isolate. Even more worryingly, it was later revealed. Almost 1300 scottish fans were infectious when they went to london. The world health organization says supporters. Traveling to games would be a recipe for disaster. How are people getting there? Are they traveling in large, crowded convoys of buses? Are they taking individual measures when they’re doing that what’s happening after the games? When people leave the stadiums, are they going into crowded bars and pubs to watch the matches? If this mixing is happening among people who are not fully vaccinated – and there is the presence of the virus, there will be cases the problem isn’t restricted to the uk finnish authorities say at least 300 fans were infected while following their national team, mostly at their two Matches in saint petersburg that’s contributed to a sharp rise in cases at home, but despite these connections between euro 2020 and coveted outbreaks, uefa is pressing ahead with hosting over 60 000 spectators for the final at wembley and politicians in several countries are furious at this german Interior minister horst ze hofer, accusing the governing body of putting profits over public health Applause.

I think that uefa’s position is utterly irresponsible. Sports association should say clearly we don’t want it this way and we’re reducing the numbers of spectators, either italy or england will be celebrating their country’s sporting victory at wembley on sunday, but without further restrictions in london. Fears of a covert hangover will only rise. Well, let’s speak to dr gerhard choi he’s, a former president of the international society for air assaults in medicine. Thanks for joining us on the kobit 19 special, you were an advocate of getting football back up and running again during the pandemic, but now we are seeing cases rising in part due to euro 2020. Does that mean that tournament was a bad idea? I think the tournament was not a bad idea, i think um. It depends on the incidents in the in the different countries and we saw we saw large differences um. You mentioned the english and scottish um people that went to london and uh got infected, but in in england we have an incidence of seven day incidents of about 300 right now and um in other countries that was much lower. So, for example, in germany we had an incidence of five and we had no outbreaks uh when we had the the stadium in munich and um in in under hungaria um uh, the uh incidences went down um and they had the full stadium at the beginning. From the beginning so um they started with an incident of 10 and they are now at 2.

5, or something like that. So we cannot say that football is a real big risk. It really depends on the conditions in the in in these different countries yeah, but the one match that remains now is the final, which is going to be in the uk, which, as you say, has got one of the higher incidence rates rates in europe. So how risky is a stadium full of 60 plus thousand people? The stadium itself is not the problem. Um it’s, the uh it’s a the travel to the stadium as you as, as we saw in uh heard in this um other um discussions uh. It says: it’s a traveling to the stadium it’s, the the the celebration after in the bars and it’s the um, the lounges in the in the stadium, the uh, the restrooms. And so we know that outside we have a very little infection, so it’s an aerosol infection and – and that happens most of the time um in closed rooms, and this can also be a bus or an airplane or in a toilet. Yeah. And i think these are the risky places so they’re sort of peripheral to the actual match itself. I suppose euro 2020 has given us an interesting case study, because the match has been taking place in different countries. Um. Have we seen specific approaches in specific countries that have worked particularly well? I don’t think so um. I think i think the um it it.

We saw the differences. As i said at the beginning, um we saw the differences in the different countries, but the um, the the incidence numbers where the rates were totally different yeah. So when you, when you start with an incident rate of let’s, say 200, that means you have 200 people getting infected by a hundred thousand from 100 000 people. So when you have now 50 000 people in the in a stadium – and you would not make any tests, it can happen that you have 100 people which are infected in the stadium. If you have an incidence of five and you let 20 000 people into a stadium, then you have um one person in the stadium: who’s, maybe infected just from the statistic point of view, and and so that makes a big difference, it makes a big difference um. How many people um get infected um in this country and um in this special area? Where you have the football game? All these matches have been. You know outdoor venues, but the olympics would have been different. Some of those events would have taken place indoors, but now they’re not going to have any spectators. Have they taken the right decision in japan um. I i don’t know the the incident of japan but um they they are more careful um. I think it would be possible in the in the in this in the uh in the arena outside that you have ten thousand or twenty thousand people there.

Um indoors is a little bit more difficult, um, but also there. It depends on the size of the room in in very large rooms. Um. The aerosol cloud is not very concentrated and it’s still diluted by the surrounding air and in that way so it’s also not so risky. But i i, i think, it’s a it’s, a it’s, a right decision when the when the incidences are arising in in japan without spectators right, an abundance of caution. There uh dr gerhard schweik, thanks so much for joining us on the coveted 19 special you’re welcome and now it’s the part of the program where we put one of your questions to our science, correspondent, derek williams, will vaccines require annual booster shots? No one really knows the answer to this question yet because the very first recipients of vaccines approved for emergency use were only given those shots around a year ago in the course of the initial trials, but it wouldn’t come as a surprise if booster shots proved necessary At some point down the line after all, they are for vaccines aimed at some other diseases. What’S clear so far is that most people who receive approved vaccines that they’re protected to a great extent for at least six months, at least against the current common variants. Although the extent of that protection is, of course, not fixed, but varies from vaccine to vaccine and from variant to variant, but studies are showing, for instance, that people vaccinated with messenger rna vaccines that they continue to produce quite high levels of antibodies.

Half a year after receiving their second doses and effectiveness, levels seem to be holding up quite well at least against older variants of the virus. But a new report from israel’s ministry of health has now thrown some doubt on whether the delta variant of sarsko v2 might be able to do an end run on at least one vaccine more often than other variants, at least in part, because of that new data. Pfizer and biontech now want to give recipients a third shot of their vaccine after six months, which highlights the big. What, if lurking in the background, what if the virus mutates enough to start infecting a much larger percentage of vaccinated people on a regular basis and and even worse, is able to cause severe disease in them. That’S, when we’ll really need a tailored booster shot and and actually the companies that make covid vaccines are already trialing next generation shots aimed at stopping that scenario. If it starts to unfold mixing and matching different vaccines in the first, two doses could also possibly help provide the kind of broader spectrum immune response necessary to keep even slippery future variants in check.

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