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Ever since the coronavirus pandemic closed clubs, bars and concert halls around the world, music fans have been dreaming of the day when they can visit a busy and sweaty place again to enjoy it. a concert with friends.

With rising infection rates in many European countries, that dream might be far away for now. But some music fans in Leipzig, Germany got the chance to rock for a day in the name of science – with the help of hand sanitizer and electronic trackers.

Researchers in Leipzig held an experimental indoor concert of 1,500 people on Saturday to gain a better understanding of how Covid-19 spreads during large, busy events and how to prevent it.

At the concert, which featured a live performance by musician Tim Bendzko, fans were given breathing masks, fluorescent hand gel and electronic “contact trackers” – small transmitters that determine contact rates and contact distances of individual participants in the experiment.

Using data from the contact trackers, scientists at the University of Halle will monitor the number of “critical contacts” that each participant has had at specific times and places, while the residue left by the fluorescent gel for them. hands will identify frequently touched surfaces. Researchers hope to use the data to find ways to organize big events, including sports, safe return.

Professor Michael Gekle, dean of the university’s medical school and professor of physiology, said the experiment is underway to better prepare authorities to organize events in the coming fall and winter seasons. .

“We cannot afford another lockdown,” he said. “We need to put the data together now so that we can make valid predictions,” he said.
“There is no zero risk if you want to have life. We want to give politicians a tool to rationally decide whether or not to allow such an event. That means they must have the tool to predict the number. more infected people. such an event will occur. “

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