“Quite staggering”: Music festival linked to at least 1,000 COVID cases

At least 1,000 COVID-19 cases have been linked to a music festival in the Netherlands, with the local health authority pointing out flaws in the “test for entry process”.

Over two days, 20,000 people attended the Verknipt outdoor music festival in Utrecht earlier this month, with each festivalgoer required to show a QR code confirming they recently returned a negative COVID-19 test, recently recovered from the disease or have been vaccinated, according to CNBC.

A spokesman for the Utrecht health authority said the number of people who had been diagnosed since the event was “quite staggering”.

“We cannot say that all these people were infected at the festival itself; it could also be possible that they’ve been infected while travelling to the festival or in the evening before going to the festival or having an after-party,” Lennart van Trigt told CNBC.

“So they’re (the cases) all linked to the festival, but we can’t 100 per cent say they were infected at the festival.”

Van Trigt said the event highlighted flaws in the “test for entry process”, which allows people to present a negative result that is up to 40 hours old.

He said a 24 hour period would be more appropriate.

“In 40 hours, people can do a lot of things like visiting friends and going to bars and clubs. So, in a period of 24 hours, people can do less things and it’s safer,” he added.

“We were a bit too trigger happy.”

Another flaw in the system is the Netherlands’ vaccine certificate, which is issued as soon as a person is vaccinated despite it taking a few weeks for immunity to build following a COVID-19 jab.

The country has seen a hefty rise in COVID-19 cases over the past month after lifting restrictions on bars and clubs.

Health Minister Hugo de Jonge has issued an apology for releasing a “dansen met Janssen” (“dancing with Janssen”), promoting a Janssen vaccine to younger people so they could go out.

The Netherlands has been reporting an average of 8,395 cases per day, mostly in people aged between 19 and 20 years, CNBC reported.

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