GSMA, the organizers of Mobile World Congress, will meet on Friday to decide whether or not to cancel the conference.
GSMA recently made an announcement that it does not plan to cancel the conference due to the coronavirus. That said, since multiple companies have announced that they will not attend the event, the London-based organizers might could change their mind.
According to La Vanguardia, this typical general council meeting that will take place in Barcelona.
Even though GSMA is taking safety measures such as prohibiting the entry of everyone who has been in the province of Hubei, China, checking the temperature of attendees and all travellers who have been in China will need to demonstrate proof that they’ve been outside of the country for 14 days prior to the event, there’s a possibility it could still be cancelled.
At the time of writing, several companies have pulled out of MWC including, Nvidia, Amazon, LG, Ericsson, Gigaset, Umidigi, Vivo, Intel, Sony, and Amdocs. Additionally, TCL has cancelled its keynote but is still planning to attend the event, and reports indicate that Samsung will have a reduced presence at the conference this year. Even some hotels in Barcelona have announced that they have cancelled hotel reservations.
While only about 10 per cent of the companies are ditching the conference, it’ll have a huge impact on Hall 3, which is usually filled with big booths and is the most visited.
La Vanguardia did an interview with the researcher Oriol Mitjà, who said, “a single introduction would have a probability of between 20 and 30 percent of causing an outbreak.”
“But the transmission is high and difficult to control. With only three infections, there is a probability of more than 50 percent of an outbreak.”
Additionally, he believes that detection in airports through thermal scanners is unlikely to prevent infected travellers from getting into the country.
Mitjà, a professor of infectious diseases and global health, said that the cost of postponing the event is less than having to control a potential epidemic.
This article was sourced from La Vanguardia and translated with Google Translate.
Source: La Vanguardia