Swiss authorities have expressed concern over two iodine singing concerts attended by 600 fans of traditional singing, now known as the widespread events of COVID-19, which turned the small Swiss canton into a hot spot as a second wave of pandemic sweeps Europe.
People who attended indoor performances in late September in the canton of Schwyz were advised to be socially remote, but were not required to wear masks that would prevent them from iodizing.
Now in a small village the level of positivity is 50 percent (ie half of all tests return positive), making this the highest level of infection in Europe, with the number of cases doubling daily over the last week.
Beat Hegner, who organized the event, told a local Swiss TV channel that nine days after the event, they found that several people from the main group of yoders who attended both concerts were infected. “There is nothing we can do about what happened to this group of yodelists,”; he said.
Facial masks are still not needed in the canton, but local hospital director Francisco Foelmi has asked people to wear them to stop the spread of the highly contagious virus and relieve pressure on the district hospital, which is under voltage.
“It’s time to react,” said Reto Nues, the hospital’s chief physician, in the same television interview. “The explosion in Switzerland is one of the worst in all of Europe.”
COVID-19 infections are on the rise across Europe, and on Thursday France recorded a whopping 30,000 new cases in 24 hours, resulting in a curfew in cities such as Paris. Italy also saw more infections than in the first wave, when the country was the epicenter of an outbreak in Europe.
Authorities blame the resumption of schools and the seemingly reluctance of young people to take the pandemic seriously for a new wave. To date, attempts to curb nightlife have done little in the EU to mitigate the spread.
Although iodization is also popular in the Austrian region of Tyrol and other alpine regions, the Swiss canton is the first known case of traditional COVID-19 outbreak.