The director of the prestigious Butantan Institute, Dimas Covas, stated in an interview with Efe that Brazil’s decision to host the Copa América in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic was “absolutely wrong.”
“The numbers are showing that it was a very wrong decision and it could have consequences,” said Covas.
The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) has already counted at least 65 cases of coronavirus related to the 2021 Copa América since the tournament started last Sunday, but the figure could increase in the coming weeks.
Of the 65 positives, 19 correspond to members of the participating delegations, while 46 were referees, stadium staff or employees of Conmebol.
“We do not know whether or not these (infected) people are with variants” of the coronavirus, said the chief executive of Butantan, one of the reference laboratories in Latin America and responsible for the local production of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine.
Brazil, one of the Latin American countries most affected by the virus, surprisingly agreed to host the continental tournament, after the refusal of Colombia and Argentina for various reasons, including the lack of control of the pandemic.
The Latin American giant is approaching half a million deaths, a mark only surpassed by the United States since the beginning of the health crisis.