Swiss authorities have expressed concern over two yodelling singing concerts with 600 traditional singing fans who are now known to have been COVID-19 wide-spread events that have turned a small Swiss canton into a hotspot as as second wave of the pandemic sweeps across Europe.
People who attended the indoor performances in late September in Canton Schwyz were urged to distance themselves socially, but were not required to wear masks that would have hindered their yodeling.
The small village area now has a 50 percent positivity rate, making it the highest contagion rate in all of Europe, with the number of cases doubling every day over the past week.
Beat Hegner, who organized the events, told a local Swiss TV station they found out nine days after the event that several people from the main yodeling group who attended both concerts were infected. “There is nothing we can do about what happened with this group of yodeling,” he said.
Face masks are still not needed in the township, but the director of the local hospital, Franziska Foellmi, has asked people to wear them to stop the spread of the highly contagious virus and reduce pressure on the hospital in the area , which is energized.
“It’s time for us to react,” said Reto Nueesch, the hospital’s chief medical officer in the same TV interview. “The explosion in the number of cases in Schwyz is one of the worst in all of Europe.”
Although yodeling is also popular in the Austrian region of Tyrol and other Alpine regions, it is the first known case of the traditional practice linked to an outbreak of COVID-19.
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