The open-top Italian national football team’s Euro 2020 victory parade victory parade through Rome is partly responsible for a Covid outbreak in the city.
The daily number of cases has increased fivefold in the capital in the past month, and now averages more than . And Lazio — the region that includes Rome — is now responsible for about a fifth of all daily infections in Italy.
One of the city’s leading health chiefs, Alessio D’Amato, said the rise was due to the “Gravina effect.”
Gabriele Gravina is the president of the Italian Football Federation (IFF) and helped convince the city council to let the parade go ahead. The Italian team’s victory lap drew thousands into the streets on July 12.
But official records show there were already cases in Lazio before the parade, with the rise coinciding with the major football tournament.
British experts have also blamed the euro for fueling the epidemic in the UK, where the number of infections has now risen to nearly 50,000 a day.
Scotland saw a sharp rise in cases during the competition, but they started to decline after the country’s early departure from the group stage. There are signs that the epidemic in England is now slowing, following the country’s dramatic loss to Italy in the final.
Covid cases have increased fivefold in Rome after Italy’s Euro 2020 win, with an average of 600 infections now recorded daily
Covid cases in Italy and the UK are rising after the Euro 2020 tournament, with experts in both countries blaming football for the rise. Infections in Italy have tripled in less than two weeks (green line), but in the UK they have risen to almost 50,000
The Italian football team paraded through the streets of Rome on July 12, after their victory at the Euro 2020 football tournament at Wembley
Italian authorities said no permission had been given to use an open-top bus, but this could not be stopped after the team’s Euro 2020 victory
Hundreds of new cases in Rome have been linked to people watching the games and partying in bars after Italy’s July 11 victory.
An outbreak at a bar in the capital’s Monteverde neighborhood, police said had been linked to more than 100 cases Italian insider.
Experts say people gathered to watch Italy’s progress in the tournament, which began in June, also helped fuel a wave of infections.
Health chief D’Amato said: “We pay for the so-called ‘Gravina effect’, albeit without complications in hospitals.”
He added: ‘Cases will increase due to the effect of the ‘power outage’ (without taking into account social distancing rules) on the occasion of the Euro celebrations, which will last for a few days.
“Those positives are mostly young people who have not yet been vaccinated and this means again that it is important to continue vaccinating to achieve herd immunity.”
Cases across Italy are also rising after the win and have tripled in less than two weeks. They are now at the highest level since May.
But the number of hospital admissions in the country is yet to rise, although experts fear they will rise as nearly half of Italians have yet to be vaccinated.
The head of Rome’s public security service, Matteo Piantedosi, says the tour of the capital was “not allowed.”
He told Corriere della Sera newspaper: “We had not given permission to celebrate Italy’s victory at the European Championship in the open bus, but the pact was not respected.”
He added that police had “no choice” but to let the parade go ahead after captain Giorgio Chiellini and key centre-back Leonardo Bonucci insisted.
The IFF said it had acted responsibly, but decided not to disappoint the fans who had come to celebrate with the team.
England have also seen their business grow fivefold since Euro 2020 started from around 6,000 a day to over 31,000 on the day of the final.
But experts hope it will follow the trajectory of Scotland, where infections plummeted three weeks after their team was knocked out of the tournament.
Scotland registered a peak of 3,000 infections per day on June 30, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. But this has now plummeted by 40 percent to 1,800 a day.
Covid cases rose among men in their twenties after European Championship match
The number of coronavirus cases rose faster among men in their 20s than among women during Euro 2020, official figures show.
Data from Public Health England published last week showed that 10,267 more young men than women were infected in the two weeks to July 12, and the gender gap has widened since the tournament kicked off.
The cases have remained about the same between men and women during the pandemic.
But they started to diverge after June 13, when England defeated Croatia 1-0 in their first game.
Public Health England data showed 10,267 more young men than women were infected
Some scholars have already blamed the football tournament on a frenzy of business after people gathered in pubs and homes to watch the games and tens of thousands of fans gathered at Wembley for England’s six home games in London.