Three spectators at Denmark-Belgium match test positive for Delta variant

Three spectators at Denmark-Belgium match test positive for Delta variant
Three of the fans who watched the Denmark-Belgium match at the Parken stadium have tested postive for the Delta variant. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau ScanpixMads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
Danish authorities have asked 4,000 football fans to get tested for Covid-19 as soon as possible, after three spectators at last week's Belgium match tested positive for the infectious Delta variant.

The Danish Patient Safety Authority on Wednesday evening asked all those who were sitting in six sections of the C stands at Copenhagen’s Parken stadium for the match last Thursday to go and get a PCR-test “as soon as possible”, saying that “several spectators have tested positive for the Delta variant”. 

“These three people who were infected during the match, as well as their close contacts and the close contacts of their close contacts have been informed,” Anette Lykke Petri, director of the Danish Agency for Patient Safety, said on Thursday. 

She said the three supporters were infected independently of each other at the game at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium on June 17.

“The three infected people all independently point out that the place of infection has been the match,” Petri told Danish station TV2. “We would like to have screened everyone,” she added. 

Denmark’s health minister, Magnus Heunicke, tweeted only minutes after the Patient Safety Authority,  revealing that the 4,000 fans had been in the six sections judged to be at risk. 

The Delta variant is more infectious than even the Alpha variant which originated in the UK and then went on to become dominant in Denmark. Since 1 April, there have been 235 cases of the Delta variant in Denmark, with it now accounting for about 5.5 percent of all positive cases. Danish health authorities expect it to become the dominant variant within a few months. 

The Danish Patient Safety Authority said at a press conference on Tuesday that there had so far been only 29 coronavirus infections linked to the three Euro2020 matches played on Danish soil, against Finland on June 12th, against Belgium on June 17th, and against Russia on Monday night.  

The World Health Organization on Tuesday said it was concerned about the easing of Covid-19 restrictions by nations
hosting Euro 2020 matches, noting that some were already seeing rising cases.

“WHO is concerned about easing of restrictions in some of the host countries,” Robb Butler, an executive director at WHO’s Regional Office for Europe, said in an emailed statement to AFP.

“A few of the stadiums hosting the tournament are now increasing the number of spectators allowed,” Butler said.

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