“One of the worst in all of Europe”: Swiss yodelling musical believed to have caused massive COVID-19 outbreak

A yodelling musical attended by 600 people in Switzerland is believed to have turned its region into a COVID-19 hotspot.

The event, which took place in late September in the rural canton of Schwyz, required attendees to social distance, but masks were not enforced, according to France 24.

The managing director of the venue that hosted the performance, Beat Hegner, told local media that he found out nine days later that several people from the group were infected.

The region now has 1,238 cases of COVID-19 compared with just 500 before the concert.

Sky News has reported that the canton now has an infection rate of 408 cases per 100,000 people, making it the worst-hit region in Switzerland.

Chief of the canton hospital, Franziska Foellmi told France 24 there is now an extremely high rate of positive tests, going from 30 to 50 per cent.

“It’s time we reacted. The explosion in the number of cases in Schwyz is one of the worst in all of Europe,” chief doctor Reto Nueesch posted online.

The yodelling group, “Forever and Always” said reports that the event was a super spreader were “pure slander”.

Erwin Bertschy told Sky News that while four performers had tested positive for COVID-19, the show had a “protection concept that was adhered to”.

“At the same time, the restaurants were open all night and they were full to the brim,” he said.

“But it’s easier to blame an external organiser.”

Local authorities have now made mask-wearing compulsory at all public and private events with more than 50 people or where social distancing can’t be maintained.

Featured image source: Jodelmusical website