4,000 music fans will attend the gig as part of a study on how the virus spreads in large gatherings.
German Scientists Host Pop Concert To see how COVID-19 spreads across large groups – Insiderfolks, German scientists are aiming to outfit 4,000 pop music fans with monitoring devices and bottles of neon disinfectants to provide a better image of how Covid-19 might be stopped from spreading at major indoor concerts.
As cultural mass gatherings around the world remain on hold for the foreseeable future , researchers in East Germany are recruiting volunteers for the “coronavirus experiment” with singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko, to be held at the indoor stadium in the city of Leipzig on 22 August.
Participants between the ages of 18 and 50 will wear matchstick-sized ‘contact tracer’ devices on chains around their necks that transmit signals at five-second intervals and collect data on each person’s movements and proximity to other members of the audience.
Inside the hall, they would also be requested to disinfect their hands with a fluorescent hand sanitizer – intended not just to provide a layer of security, but also to enable scientists to scrub the hall with UV lights after the concerts to locate the surfaces where the spread of the virus is more likely to take place via a frottis infection.
Vapors from the fog machine will help visualize the possible spread of coronavirus via aerosols, which scientists will try to predict via computer-generated models in advance of the event.
The €990,000 cost of the Restart-19 project will be borne between the federal states of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. The objectives of the project’s organizers are to “identify a framework” for how major cultural and sporting events could take place “without posing a danger to the population” after 30 September.
Although several German states, such as Saxony and Brandenburg, have eased social-distance limits to the degree that medium-sized indoor concerts are permitted to take place, concerts of more than 1,000 performers remain banned in the country until at least the end of August.
New Zealand, which tried to contain the spread of the pandemic at an early point, allowed 20,000 rugby fans to flood into the Dunedin City Stadium this weekend. An record 6,200 people watched the US President Donald Trump campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20.
Elsewhere, musicians and sportsmen face a precarious future, as the fear of “super-spreading events” makes many governments reluctant to allow large gatherings in enclosed environments.
“We are trying to find out if there could be a middle way between the old and the new normal that would allow organizers to fit enough people into a concert venue not to make a loss,” said Stefan Moritz, Head of Clinical Infectious Disease at the University Hospital in Halle and Coordinator of the experiment.
In order to stop the Leipzig experiment from becoming the source of a new outbreak, the signed volunteers will be sent a DIY test kit and will have a swab at the doctor’s or laboratory 48 hours before the concert starts. All that are unwilling to provide evidence of a successful check at the door would be refused access.
A face mask with an exhalation valve will be provided to each concierge with the disinfectant. While the organizers say that the risk of catching the virus at the concert is “extremely slim,” they also warn that 100% protection can not be guaranteed.
Through midday on Monday, 775 participants had signed up for a concert with Bendzko, a soul pop artist whose debut album sold 500,000 copies in Germany in 2011.
Throughout the Leipzig Concert Hall, a seating-only facility that housed sports activities as well as performances by Bob Dylan and Britney Spears, three separate possibilities would be required to take shape.
For the first examples, the crowd would take part for concerts like they should have done in pre-virus days, passing by two key doors before taking their places. For the second “optimized” example, the audience should join from eight exits to encourage further overlap, and any second seat on the stands will be obscured.
For the final, purely socially distanced case, only 2,000 fans would be permitted to access the 12,000 capacity venue and be seated at a distance of 1.5 m from each other.
The scientists behind the concert claim they expect to dig through the collection of data in little over a month and show their results at the beginning of October.
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