With the Coronavirus spreading through the world, multiple companies have decided to skip what is one of the biggest smartphone events of the year — MWC 2020 — chief among them, LG electronics which announced that it will not be attending the event this year for safety reasons. While the GSMA, which is the organiser behind MWC, has previously stated that the event will go on as planned, the association has today sent out a notice to inform attendees of all the health measures being put in place to ensure public health safety during the course of the event.
According to GSMA’s email, the following additional measures are being put in place by the organisers:
- Travellers from Hubai province will not be permitted entry to the event.
- Anyone who has been to China will need to provide proof that they have been out of the country for at least 14 days prior to the event.
- Temperature screening will be put in place during the event.
- All attendees will have to self-certify that they have not been in contact with anyone affected with coronavirus.
The organisers have also mentioned that they are monitoring the situation and plans may be adapted according to developments. Hopefully that doesn’t mean the event will have to be cancelled or postponed.
Apart from the measures mentioned by the GSMA above, the organisers have also put in place a number of preventative safety measures including the following:
- Increased cleaning and disinfection across the event, especially at high-volume touchpoints such as cafeterias, handrails, toilets, touch screens and more.
- On-site medical support has been doubled as compared to last year.
- Microphone disinfection and change protocol for speakers.
- No handshake policy
- 24-hour telephone Security and Medical service for all attendees, operational from 12th to 29th February 2020.
Speaking about the threat posed by Coronavirus, and the readiness of the Spanish health system, the country’s health minister Alba Vergés said, “The Catalan health system is prepared to detect and treat coronavirus, to give the most appropriate response, and this must be clear to those attending MWC Barcelona.” The head of Service of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Antoni Trilla, also added that “we are not in an exceptional situation and our health system is ready.”
MWC 2020 is scheduled to take place from February 24 to February 27 in Barcelona, Spain. We’ll be on the ground at the event, so stay tuned for the latest information from (and about) the event as it unfolds.