Chile concert serves as a clinical trial for the return of live music

Santiago, Aug 26 (EFE).- An event organized by the Chilean Society of Authors and Musical Performers (SCD) and the University of Chile on Thursday will serve as a clinical trial that seeks to measure the impact of musical performances on the spread of Covid-19.

Some 200 registered volunteers filled the seats of the Sala SCD Egaña, in the east of the capital, to enjoy a concert by Chilean band Chancho en Piedra in a space fitted with CO2 meters and ventilation systems amid a rigorous health protocol, including PCR tests.

“Here all the factors are absolutely controlled. It is a clinical trial with strict health protocols and a subsequent follow-up of the attendees. We hope to obtain data that will allow us to design a protocol that serves to kickstart musical and artistic activity in the country,” the immunologist in charge of the study, Alejandro Afani, told EFE.

The event also included temperature checks of all attendees, including technical staff, as well as hand sanitization, a change of masks and the presentation of Mobility Passes, a document issued by the authorities to those who are fully vaccinated.

As part of the clinical study, PCR tests will be performed on the attendees eight days after the concert to check for infection.

“We are convinced that we will finally be able to resolve the loopholes that have surrounded the holding of live music events and that led us to go 17 months without being able to hold concerts in a way that is sustainable for our industry,” SCD President Rodrigo Osorio said.

The arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the extensive lockdowns decreed as a result of the pandemic in Chile (by 2020 about 80 percent of its activities were stopped), so this initiative aims to obtain concrete epidemiological data that may help to reactivate it.

Although an improvement in the Covid-19 situation in the country in recent weeks has already led to the holding of concerts with limited capacity, this event will be the first to engage in gathering data that will provide certainty regarding antivirus protocols required for the future.

To date, 1.6 million people have been infected with the virus in Chile and more than 45,000 have died, including confirmed and suspected cases, according to the health ministry.

The country has carried out one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the world, with more than 80 percent of the target population – about 15 million people – fully vaccinated. EFE


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