BARCELONA/BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) – The Mobile World Congress (MWC), an annual telecom-industry gathering that attracts more than 100,000 visitors to Barcelona, spain, was cancelled on Wednesday after a mass exodus by the exhibitor due to their fears about the corona virus outbreak.
An employee walks past a banner of the MWC20 (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona, Spain, February 12, by the year 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
Bowing to the inevitable, the GSMA telecom association, which is hosting the get-together, said that it had cancelled the Feb. 24-27 event, in spite of assurances from the local, state and federal health officials that it would have been safe to keep it.
“The GSMA has been deleted mobile world CONGRESS in Barcelona in 2020, because of the widespread concern about the corona virus outbreak, time travel, caring and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event, John Hoffman, the CEO of the organiser, the GSMA, said in a statement.
The announcement came after a crisis meeting of the GSMA’s board of directors, after its hand was forced by the withdrawal of the anchor point of the European members, including Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE), Vodafone (VOD.(L) BT (BT.(L) and htc (NOKIA mobile phones.There are.
Spain’s Telefonica, which is one of the largest telecom operators have not yet announced that it was pulling out, he said Wednesday night, “to understand the GSMA’s decision to quit the Mobile World Congress in 2020, as a result of the situation created by the corona virus.”
It is said that it would always have the support of Barcelona as the host city of Mobile World Congress.
Barcelona’s mayor, Ada Colau, said she wanted to send a “message of peace”, insisting that the city is ready to host the event, while the Spanish officers of the public health, emphasized that there was no need to make a call from the mobile world CONGRESS.
The World Health Organization, the united nations agency leading the corona virus, in response to the crisis, however, it is in vain to be calm.
“There is no evidence to suggest that there is evidence of community spread outside of China, so THAT is not currently available and request that the meetings be cancelled,” the WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told Reuters in Geneva.
It fails, however, to alleviate concerns in most of the major exhibitors of the precautions are not enough in order to stop the virus, which has spread beyond the borders of China and two dozen nations.
“In order to bring people together and connect them, That’s what Telecom is about. This is what the Mobile World Congress, “the reunion” our industry stands for,” Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges posted on your LinkedIn profile.
But, he said, is that large gatherings of people with a lot of international visitors who are particularly at risk: “this risk would be irresponsible.”
The Chinese contingent of CONGRESS have numbered 5,000-6,000 in the past few years, so this event is especially vulnerable in view of the recent outbreak of the virus, which has claimed the lives of more than 1,100 people on the Chinese mainland.
The GSMA has said that the host cities and partners will be respected and understood his decision, adding that they would continue to work in a chorus for a staging of next year’s event.
Her, and Colau a joint press conference on Thursday.
Due to the sheer size of mobile world CONGRESS, with the deputies of the packaging of the Barcelona hotels, bars and restaurants, and it is the cause of the city, the trade center, tearing at the seams, the postponement was not a realistic option, sources said.
A final decision on the case was made more difficult due to the conditions, if any, events of insurance, by the GSMA would have to pay, in the resources sector and the insurance policies, experts said. It would be unlikely to kick in unless the restrictions are to be imposed on public gatherings in the country for medical reasons.
“Where there is no such prohibition, and the companies have to make their own business decision, I’m not in the market to pay for it,” the Noble to Ryan, who has been in the Special Risk team and the broker, Marsh, JLT Specialty, said, prior to the GSMA’s decision.
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Major Chinese exhibitors, led the event, had a solid plan in order to take part in the final, in the order of at-risk personnel, in order to isolate it ahead of time and draft in replacements from elsewhere to run the event, and the host’s clients.
The GSMA had prohibited the participants from China’s Hubei province, where the corona virus outbreak began, and the need for others to prove that they are out of the country for a period of at least two weeks prior to the event.
Corona virus appeared to be infectious, even for people who have been caught are asymptomatic, which means that people who may not even be aware that they could infect others at the mobile world CONGRESS. Keep track of meetings and motions on the other side of the Volcano and the market garden, and the city of Barcelona: a person who tests positive would have to be a daunting task.
Written by Douglas Busvine, Additional reporting by Jessica Jones and Isla Binnie, Supantha Mukherjee, John Faus, Can Sezer, Tarmo Virki, by Stephanie Nebehay, Carolyn Cohn and Noor Zainab Hussein; editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Kirsten Donovan and Leslie Adler