MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A German university put on three large-scale concerts on Saturday to see whether mass indoor events could continue amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Halle University's project is called RESTART-19, which is short for "risk prediction of indoor sports and culture events for the transmission of COVID-19."
"The research project RESTART-19 is conducting an evidence-based and scientifically designed study to investigate the risks of holding a major event at an indoor venue. The aim is to find a way to restart such events," a press release read.
The concerts are taking place at an arena in Leipzig. German pop star Tim Bendzko has agreed to sing for thousands of volunteers in all three gigs. The test subjects are healthy people aged between 18 and 50.
The scientists will run three scenarios that will simulate a pre-outbreak concert with 4,000 people, an event with an equal number of hygiene-minded concert-goers keeping a larger distance and a further one with half the number of participants and stricter rules.
All participants will wear face masks and trackers that will register their contacts as well as arrivals and departures from the concerts to factor in the risk of infection posed by public transport, Stefan Moritz, the university's project manager, explained.
Germany saw a marked rise in the number of infections in the past weeks after reopening the economy. It reported 2,034 new cases and seven further virus-related deaths on Saturday, bringing the totals to, respectively, 232,082 and 9,267.