Researchers in Germany may have some good news for frustrated concertgoers around the world whose activities have been constrained by the spread of the coronavirus.
An analysis of an indoor concert staged by scientists in August suggests that the impact of such events on the spread of the coronavirus is “low to very low” as long as organizers ensure adequate ventilation, strict hygiene protocols and limited capacity, according to the German researchers who conducted the study.
“There is no argument for not having such a concert,” Dr. Michael Gekle, part of the team at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg that conducted the study, said in an interview. “The risk of getting infected is very low.”
The study was posted online and announced at a news conference on Thursday but has not yet been peer reviewed.
The test event, one of the first close examinations of how a virus might be transmitted among a crowd at an indoor venue, was closely watched in the global entertainment industry, which has been hampered by lockdown restrictions in most countries since the pandemic broke out early this year.
Some experts expressed skepticism about the results, saying they needed to be replicated and reviewed, and that more information was needed about how researchers used the modeling.
Dr. Gabriel Scally, president of epidemiology and public health at the Royal Society of Medicine, said the findings were potentially “useful,” but that it might be difficult to replicate the controls that the researchers had implemented at many real-life events.
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