A study warns against “extrapolating” encouraging results from a concert-test in Barcelona

The encouraging results of the first European concert-test, held in Barcelona in December, are difficult to extrapolate due to the “strict” prevention conditions that were imposed, warns a study published on Friday.

Almost 500 spectators with masks attended a concert-test without physical distancing in a Barcelona venue. None of the attendees tested positive for covid-19 PCR tests carried out eight days later.

The British journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases published this Friday the examined version of these first results by independent scientists.

“Our study provides the first data showing that indoor music events can be held without increasing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission when precautionary measures are taken, but (…) it does not necessarily show that all large congregations are safe, “warns Dr. Josep Maria Llibre, from the Germans Trias i Pujol hospital, on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Llibre defends above all to analyze the conclusions based on the epidemic situation in Spain at that time, when the level of circulation of the virus was relatively low.

“The parameters of the pandemic change permanently. Large vaccination campaigns, variations in the incidence rate in a given place and the emergence of more transmissible variants of SARS-CoV-2 are elements that may have an impact” on the results, he adds.

The researchers also highlight the “strict conditions” of the recital: wearing FFP2 masks, security agents in charge of preventing mass movements, optimizing ventilation …

But these could be a “prohibitive cost” for many organizers while “diagnosing thousands of people in a few hours (…) constitutes a logistical challenge”.

Other countries carried out similar experiences to study the risks of contagion during concerts framed by strict protocols, such as the Netherlands in March (1,300 people) and the United Kingdom on May 2 (5,000 people without a mask).

abb / app / es