BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Anticipating a dwell music present after months of social distancing, greater than 1,000 Barcelona residents gathered Saturday to take part in a medical examine to judge the effectiveness of same-day coronavirus screening to soundly maintain cultural occasions.
After passing an antigen screening, 500 of the volunteers have been randomly chosen to take pleasure in a free live performance inside Barcelona’s Apolo Theater.
The opposite 500 who did not get chosen have been despatched residence. They are going to kind a management group that can permit the organizers to research if there was any contagion contained in the live performance corridor regardless of the screening with antigen assessments, which whereas not as correct as different sorts of assessments, do produce leads to quarter-hour as in comparison with a number of hours, or days, later.
Carolina Rius was one music lover keen to just accept the danger of mingling amongst a big group of individuals indoors so she may lastly expertise a live performance with out having to stay seated and two meters aside as at present dictated by well being authorities.
“I actually, actually missed going to concert events, above all to listen to some rock ’n’ roll,” the 56-year-old Rius mentioned. “I don’t really feel like a guinea pig. I really feel like I’m taking a stand. The world of tradition, and above all of the live performance halls, are having a really unhealthy time of it and I don’t need them to close for good.
“And in the event that they find yourself selecting me within the draw to go to a live performance, that would be the cherry on high.”
The examine is organized by Barcelona’s The Combat AIDS and Infectious Illnesses Basis together with the Primavera Sound music pageant. The examine was given the go-ahead by the regional authorities in northeast Catalonia.
“This isn’t a celebration, this can be a scientific examine,” Dr. Boris Revollo, the virologist who designed the examine’s protocols, instructed The Related Press. He insisted that using same-day antigen screening for giant occasions wasn’t an alternative to face masks and different sanitation guidelines, however he believed it could possibly be a robust software to assist make massive occasions secure sufficient till vaccines are widespread sufficient to beat again COVID-19.
“This could possibly be helpful in all sorts of occasions, from cultural occasions, to enterprise congresses, to sporting occasions,” Revollo mentioned. “And younger folks, as now we have seen, are holding their very own clandestine events as a result of they don’t have any different outlet.”
The five hundred allowed into the five-hour music pageant of rock teams and disc jockeys needed to put on FFP2 face masks and use hand disinfectant.
Social distancing, nevertheless, on the live performance ground wasn’t enforced in an try to get as shut as attainable to an actual live performance environment. The group reveled within the newfound freedom, dancing carefully collectively and jostling each other for a little bit of enjoyable.
The face masks stayed put besides within the upstairs bar the place organizers allowed them to be eliminated to have the one drink volunteers have been handled to. Some folks indulged in hugs with buddies.
All 1,000 of the volunteers will even endure two PCR assessments, which have a better capability to detect the virus than the same-day antigen take a look at, first on Saturday earlier than the live performance, after which once more eight days later. Revollo mentioned these PCR assessments will permit him and his fellow investigators to find out if any contaminated folks received previous the same-day antigen display screen and, in that case, did they infect others contained in the present.
Spain remains to be underneath restricted restrictions for the pandemic that has killed a confirmed 47,600 residents.
Live performance halls have been one of many hardest hit sectors by the well being restrictions utilized in Spain, twice being utterly shut down for a number of months. In November, an affiliation representing live performance halls in Spain mentioned that greater than 25,000 exhibits had been canceled due to the pandemic, costing the trade 120 million euros ($145 million) in misplaced income. Halls have been solely lately allowed to reopen in Barcelona however at 50% capability or a most of 500 folks.
Epidemiologist Joan Caylà, who has no connection to the examine, mentioned that whereas “vaccines are nonetheless far off” earlier than they attain everybody, even the profitable use of antigen testing would not remove the necessity to maintain occasions small and extremely managed.
“It is vitally essential that these attending the occasion act responsibly,” Caylà mentioned. “A sure threat of inflicting an outbreak exists.”
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