Shout, jump, sing: Chilean spectators participate in study on concerts and COVID-19 By Reuters


SANTIAGO, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Vaccinated Chileans attended the first of a series of concerts on Thursday that will be studied in a clinical trial to eliminate risk factors and prevent COVID-19 from spreading among attendees.

The test is the result of an alliance between the Chilean Society of Musical Authors and Interpreters and the University of Chile to assess the danger of contagion in the events, and try to make the live music industry recover after the almost fatal blow inflicted. due to the pandemic and the prolonged quarantines.

A total of 200 seats available will each of the three concerts that local rock band Chancho En Piedra will give over the next three months in a carefully ventilated venue in Santiago.

Attendees must show their vaccination card, wear a mask and undergo PCR tests before the event and again after eight days. Preliminary results will be published in September.

Similar trials have been conducted with audiences of several thousand people attending concerts in Barcelona and Liverpool and revealed a lower rate of spread of COVID than in the community, although in the case of the Liverpool trial, less than half of the attendees they went back to the posttest.

The Chilean trial is unique because it specifies that attendees must be vaccinated, taking advantage of the fact that Chile has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with 70% of its population already fully inoculated.

Alejando Afani, the doctor who leads the trial at the Clinical Hospital of the University of Chile, said that a drop in infections in Chile and the high vaccination rate make it a good time to try to restart massive events.

Eduardo Ibeas, lead singer of the band, said he hoped the participants would take other protective measures seriously. “We wholeheartedly hope that people take care of themselves, so that it is a positive result and that the live shows come back as soon as possible,” he said.

Among those lining up to take the pre-concert test on Thursday was Catalina Osorio, a 29-year-old psychologist, who said she was looking forward to breaking free for the first time in a long time.

“I believe that for the mental health of the population it is something very important to bring culture, art and music closer together, to be able to meet the artists live again, jump, shout, sing, in that experience that runs through you all the body, “he said.

(Reuters Television report, written by Aislinn Laing; Edited by Javier López de Lérida)

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