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Home / World / Coronavirus crowd study: German researchers found ‘ray of hope’ after inviting thousands of people to an indoor concert in Leipzig

Coronavirus crowd study: German researchers found ‘ray of hope’ after inviting thousands of people to an indoor concert in Leipzig



In a scenario modeled by scientists, the risk of infection for participants and those exposed to them was about 70 times lower when health and safety guidelines were followed, compared with what can happen in pre-pandemic behavior.

Michael Gekle, dean of medicine at Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg who participated in the study, said: “A concert or handball game with strict safety procedures is safer. taking part in a great wedding.

The scientists̵

7; conclusions are based on an experiment that attracted around 1,400 people to an indoor simulated concert in August, held at one of the country’s largest venues in the city of Leipzig, East Germany.

Researchers from Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, a public organization, used trackers to collect data on participants’ movements and behavior, all subject to negative testing. calculated with newly allowed coronaviruses. Over the next two months, data collected during a one-day trial in August was put into a computer simulation to estimate the hypothetical spread of coronaviruses to safety protocols and different infection rates.

Finding a balance between economic incentives to fill a site as much as possible and safety restrictions to limit health risks is the primary goal of the trial considering three scenarios.

For the first time, the participants – while wearing masks – pretended that a pandemic didn’t exist, allowing researchers to create a detailed computer simulation of a concert with no aloofness. society and a full capacity auditorium.

In the second scenario, the organizers impose gentle social norms and reduce the number of participants. This scenario would provide safe enough to host indoor events with an infection rate of 50 new cases per 100,000 people within a week, the researchers said. Germany considers areas that exceed this threshold as risk zones.

The researchers found that events could still be staged with infection levels higher than that, but only if the organizers were subject to strict modifications, as modeled in the scenario. Tuesday.

In all three scenarios, the participant was assigned a seat.

Participants’ safety largely depends on masks and indoor ventilation systems, both of which were found to play a key role in preventing infection, researchers warn.

Germany approved a $ 580 million program last month to improve ventilation in museums, theaters and other spaces. As long as no effective vaccines are widely distributed, additional funding will be needed for ventilation, Stefan Moritz, head of the trial, said. “This pandemic won’t end in a few months,” he said.

Before the concert, the prospect of the experiment sparked hate letters and accusations that it would become a more pervasive event, but researchers said on Tuesday. The year that the concert did not lead to an infection.

The publication of their findings on Thursday comes at a pivotal moment in Germany, and a day after Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a month-long partial national lockdown, saying health authorities has lost control of the proliferation of new infections. Several of Germany’s federal countries with relatively low levels of infection to date – including the Saxony-Anhalt, which partially funded research – have advocated a less rigorous approach.

Germany and other European countries saw cases of sharp drops in late spring, leaving them optimistic that resuming in-house events could be feasible. Saxony-Anhalt has been set to reopen its nightclubs on Sundays, but those plans are currently delayed for an indefinite period.

Hours before Chancellor Merkel’s announcement Wednesday, thousands of employees in the event-planning industry gathered in Berlin, calling for a resuscitation in their regions.

Their interest is being shared by sports clubs. Many venues – including the Leipzig arena that were used for the August test – are used for both concerts and sporting events. The economic struggles of the site’s local handball club have triggered research, amid fears that the club will face bankruptcy unless they figure out how to host back-to-back matches. again.

Germany’s reduction in new shifts in the summer allows clubs and other sports associations to continue matches with a limited audience, but organizers say they continue to face a difficult situation. Because events with only a small audience are usually not profitable.

Scientists hope Thursday’s findings presented a compromise. But with Germany on the verge of another partial lockout, their recommendations will have to wait.

Armin Willingmann, Regional Economy Minister for Sachsen-Anhalt, the state that partially funded the study, said the upcoming restrictions “will continue to apply. But the research results, he said, could guide state decisions “once things get back to normal.”


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