WHO advises caution over mass gatherings to avoid disruption to ‘gains made’ against Covid

WHO has advised countries to take a “risk management” approach when lifting Covid restrictions

Mass gatherings should be carefully thought about as Covid restrictions begin to ease, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

WHO said governments should be careful not to “disrupt gains made” against Covid infections.

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‘Risk management’ approach

WHO has advised countries to take a “risk management” approach when lifting Covid restrictions (Photo: Shutterstock)
WHO has advised countries to take a “risk management” approach when lifting Covid restrictions (Photo: Shutterstock)

At a briefing on Wednesday (7 July), members of WHO were asked about mass gatherings and changes to Covid restrictions in countries across Europe.

Although Dr Michael Ryan, executive director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said he would not comment on specific events or mass gatherings, he encouraged governments and individuals to think about which events were necessary, or “many people will look back with many regrets”.

“Governments should be very careful and not disrupt gains made,” Dr Ryan added.

Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead, WHO Emergencies Programme, also said that fan zones and sporting events “drive transmission by bringing people together.”

She explained that there had been a 33 per cent increase in Covid cases across Europe in the past week.

Meanwhile, latest UK figures show the number of daily reported cases stood at an average of 27,557 on Wednesday (7 July), which is up 43 per cent on the equivalent figure a week ago.

WHO advised countries to take a “risk management” approach when lifting restrictions, including looking at data on virus cases and transmission rates, avoiding too much social mixing and dealing with social and health measures appropriately.