Members of the public walk at Vondelpark in Amsterdam on a sunny day on March 30, 2021.
EVERT ELZINGA | AFP | Getty Images
A festival in the Netherlands shocked officials after 1,000 coronavirus infections were linked to the event despite requiring an “entry test”.
The Verknipt outdoor festival, which took place in Utrecht at the beginning of July, was attended by 20,000 people over two days. Each participant had to show a QR code stating that they had been vaccinated, had recently had a Covid infection or had a negative Covid test.
The organizers insisted that the event was carefully planned and controlled, but despite this, 1,050 people who attended the festival have since tested positive for Covid, according to the Utrecht Regional Health Authority.
“We can’t say that all these people infected themselves at the festival, it could also be that they got infected on the trip to the festival or the evening before the festival or an after party. re (the cases) are all connected to the festival, but we cannot 100% say that they were infected at the festival, “said Lennart van Trigt, a spokesman for the Utrecht Health Department (GGD).
Nonetheless, he said the number of cases was “pretty staggering” and could increase slightly in the coming days.
The event highlighted problems with the “entry test,” added van Trigt, which allowed people to take Covid tests up to 40 hours before the event, which opened up the possibility of contracting Covid in the meantime.
“We have now found out that this deadline is too long. We should have had 24 hours [period], that would be much better because in 40 hours people can do a lot of things like visit friends and go to bars and clubs. So in a 24-hour period, people can do fewer things and it’s safer, “he said.
Another problem was that people in the Netherlands were able to get a Covid pass for the festival immediately after vaccination, while in reality it takes several weeks for immunity to build up after a Covid vaccination.
“We were a little too happy with the trigger,” said Van Trigt, noting that lessons could be learned from it.
The mayor of Utrecht, Sharon Dijksma, was particularly condemned while attending the ill-fated festival.
The Netherlands has seen a staggering increase in Covid cases in recent weeks, especially after lifting bar and club restrictions in late June and subsequently increasing Covid among younger people.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his Health Minister Hugo de Jonge apologized on Monday, saying the government made a “misjudgment” in lifting restrictions too early.
De Jonge also apologized for his “Dansen met Janssen” (“Dancing with Janssen”) campaign, which promoted the unique Janssen Covid vaccine to young people so that they could go to party.
After the government acknowledged that “the coronavirus infection rate in the Netherlands has increased much faster than expected since the society was almost completely reopened on June 26,” the government announced last Friday that nightclubs and live performances would be at least until 13th
The country’s “R” number now stands at 2.17, which means that any person with Covid-19 is likely to infect at least two other people.
An additional 10,492 cases were reported in the country on Wednesday, more than the average number of daily cases (8,395) over the past seven days. The majority of new cases affect people between the ages of 20 and 29 years.