MWC 2020 has been cancelled as novel coronavirus concerns grow

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Tech nerds and folks just generally excited about new mobile technology will have to wait until the next big trade show to get their fix because Mobile World Congress Barcelona (MWC) 2020 is not happening anymore.

Following a week of firms withdrawing from the show including the likes of LG, Intel, Sony and many more, organisers the GSMA has decided to cancel the event altogether.

“With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event,” said chief executive officer of GSMA, John Hoffman in a statement.

While this news is slightly disappointing, it’s understandable.

Aside from number of firms which pulled out this week, Novel coronavirus is a growing concern.

As of 12th February, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported 45 171 cases of Novel coronavirus have been confirmed globally with 2 068 of those cases being confirmed in the last day.

In China there have been 1 114 deaths caused by the virus.

“Excluding China, there are 24 countries reporting cases of COVID-19 [novel coronavirus]. Among these 24 countries, 23 report cases with an exposure in China. In addition, 11 of these 23 countries report cases attributed to local transmission inside the
reporting country,” reports the WHO.

While GSMA put measures in place to prevent attendees from the Hubei province in China from attending the event, a virus doesn’t really care about borders.

“Four of the 24 countries report cases where likely exposure occurred outside the reporting country and outside of China. Among these four reporting countries the most likely countries where exposure occurred were France, Germany, Japan and Singapore,” says the WHO.

MWC Barcelona 2020 is not the first, or only, major event to be cancelled amid novel coronavirus fears. The Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix which was due to take place from 17th to 19th April has also been cancelled by the FIA.

Image – World Health Organisation
Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.