Danish football fans’ crowded celebrations led to ‘only limited spread’

Danish football fans' crowded celebrations led to 'only limited spread'
A Brøndby fan celebrates the team's victory in the Superliga final. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix
The wild, out-of-contol celebrations that followed Brøndby IF's victory in the Danish Superliga final have ten days later resulted in just 92 new coronavirus infections, leading some to suggest that big concerts and festivals could be held safely.

The Danish Patient Safety Authority tweeted on Monday that the celebrations, which brought thousands of jubilant fans out on to the streets near Copenhagen, with wild hugging and little if any social distancing, had not been a superspreader event, with just 85 of those who attended the event so far testing positive. 

“Fortunately this points to only limited spread of infection,” it wrote.

Since then, seven new infections linked to the celebrations have been detected, but this has not stopped the Danish Chamber of Commerce from using the event to push for greater opening.

“We believe that the figures give us a good reason to look at both the restrictions and quickly make more trials in Denmark, so that we can become smarter about how the infection spreads at, for instance, larger concerts,” Lars Ramme Nielsen, an economist at the chamber covering the tourism and events sectors, told the BT tabloid. “We must be careful, but we must not be overcautious.”

Hans Jørn Kolmos, professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Southern Denmark, told the newspaper that the low level of infections was “gratifying”.

“It confirms that it takes a lot to infect people when you are outside,” he said.

He said that it should be possible to tour the Grøn Koncert, a moving concert that plays annually in several Danish cities, if all of those attending had valid coronavirus passes.

“The Grøn Koncert, with coronapasses, could probably work well. I wouldn’t be terribly worried about that,” he said.

But Christian Wejse, Associate professor at Aarhus University, questioned whether 92 infected counted as “limited spread”.

“This is exactly what I would call a significant spread of infection,” he said. “If we look at the individual events in we have had in Denmark that have led to a large number of infected people, then this will come a good way up on that list.”

“It is a question of definition, but I’m not sure I agree that this is not a superspreader event.”


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