Rugby: England beat South Africa 27-26 at Twickenham but Omicron could be the real winner!







Fears Twickenham rugby match may have been omicron superspreader event

Covid cases in south-west London have risen sharply and concerns are growing over passengers from Gauteng who left airport without testing

By Paul Nuki, Global Health Security Editor, London 28 November 2021 • 3:16am

The England team arrive at Twickenham as fans gather prior to the match between England and South Africa last week Credit: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

More than 80,000 rugby fans who attended the England versus South Africa game at Twickenham last weekend are being urged to come forward for testing if they have Covid symptoms in a bid to stamp out the new omicron variant before it gets a grip on the British population.

The game operated a strict Covid pass system meaning that spectators had to show evidence of double vaccination and a negative lateral flow test but the new variant is thought to be highly contagious and may be able to evade vaccines.

On Saturday, Munira Wilson, the MP for the area who is also the Liberal Democrats health spokesperson, said: “While I’m confident the RFU will have had the necessary protocols in place to prevent any potential spread, this serves as a reminder that we all must remain vigilant in the fight against this virus.

‘Ministers must spring into action’

“Those who had flown in for the match and anyone who was in and around the stadium that day who has concerns should follow UK Health Security Agency advice in coming forward and getting tested.

Cases have been climbing there since early November but noticeably stepped up a gear after last week’s rugby match.

Nearby Wandsworth, which had the highest rate in the capital at the time of the Euros football finals over the summer, has also had an eye-catching surge.

“Due to the emergence of the new variant, it’s probably worth keeping an eye on Southwark, Barking & Dagenham and Greenwich,” noted one observer. “These [areas] have low rates right now but have the largest communities of people with recent African heritage.”


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