Coronavirus: Germans to study COVID-19 spread by organizing concert for 4,000 people

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Researchers at the University Hospital Halle in Germany are to conduct an experiment to study the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus by organizing a concert for 4,000 people.

Dubbed the “Restart-19” experiment, German researchers will closely follow and observe how the virus spreads in large gatherings using 4,000 people using different scenarios at a live concert set to be played by singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko on August 22.

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“I am very happy to be part of the Restart-19 study. This tries to find out how concerts and sporting events etc. can take place safely in front of a larger audience. I would be very happy if you would support us and become part of the study as test subjects,” Bendzko wrote on an Instagram post on Tuesday, inviting fans to take part in the experiment.

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According to the research’s main website, the experiment will play out under three different scenarios. The first scenario will be played out in surroundings similar to ones done pre-COVID-19 but with participants wearing face masks. The second simulation, also with 4,000 volunteers, will see their movements controlled. The final scenario will have only 2,000 people practicing social distance measures of 1.5-meters of physical distancing from one another.

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The volunteers will be healthy participants aged 18 to 50 and be each given a FFP2 filter face mask and a fluorescent hand sanitizer that will allow researchers to track the surfaces they touch the most.

“The study was ethically and professionally advised by the ethics committee of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the commission did not raise any concerns. Approval of the study was not required. The Saxon State Ministry for Social Affairs and Social Cohesion agreed to carry out the study under the hygiene concept presented,” a disclaimer posted on the organizers’ website read.

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