Monday, 03 February 2020 10:42

Concerns over coronavirus have ‘no impact’ on MWC Barcelona registrations says GSMA Featured

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Mobile industry body GSMA says the MWC Barcelona event scheduled for Barcelona in late February will still go ahead despite concerns about the potential impact on the event of the coronavirus outbreak.

In a new statement issued on Monday, the GSMA said that concerns over the virus had not impacted registrations for the event - to be held from 24 to 27 February - and it was “continuing to monitor and assess the potential impact of its “MWC20 events held annually in Barcelona, Shanghai and Los Angeles and as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences”.

“The GSMA confirms that there have been no registration impacts on MWC Barcelona thus far and the upcoming MWC Barcelona event, 24-27 February 2020, will proceed as planned, across all venues at Fira Gran Via, Fira Montjuïc and La Farga L’Hospitalet, including YoMo and Four Years From Now (4YFN),” the GSMA said.

“However, we strongly urge exhibitors and attendees to implement appropriate guidelines and protocols as suggested by the WHO and other health authorities to contain and mitigate against any further spread of the virus.

“Currently, the WHO has decided not to declare a global public health emergency, saying it was still too early for such a move and has advised that, ‘measures to limit the risk of exportation or importation of the disease should be implemented, without unnecessary restrictions of international traffic’.

This latest announcement, giving the green light for the event - to be held from 24 to 27 February - to go ahead, follows GSMA’s previous announcement last Thursday that it was “monitoring and assessing the potential impact of the Coronavirus”.

Here’s the GSMA’s latest statement in full:

“Specifically, for MWC Barcelona 2020, measures are already in place, and updates can be found on www.mwcbarcelona.com/about/news/.

“The WHO has agreed that the outbreak now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and proposes advice to be issued as Temporary Recommendations.

‘The updated WHO advice states that ‘Countries should place particular emphasis on reducing human infection, prevention of secondary transmission and international spread…. The Committee does not recommend any travel or trade restriction based on the current information available.’

“The GSMA will:

Carefully follow and adhere to: the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendations, all applicable Chinese government recommendations, all Spanish health authority recommendations and all police/health recommendations and protocols

Work with Fira de Barcelona to ensure sufficient sanitising products throughout all venues and implement other activity in line with recommendations from our city partners

Guide exhibitors who may not be able to travel to MWC Barcelona (via GSMA account managers or the Customer Care Team) on local companies and services who may be able to address their onsite needs.

Measures we are planning to implement at MWC will include, but not be limited to:

  • Increased cleaning and disinfection programme across all high-volume touchpoints, e.g. catering areas, surfaces, handrails, WCs, entrances/exits, public touch-screens, etc. along with the use of correct cleaning/sanitising materials and products
  • Increased onsite medical support
  • Awareness campaign via online and onsite info-share and signage
  • Availability of sanitising and disinfection materials for public use
  • Awareness and training to all staff and associates on standard personal preventative measures, e.g. personal hygiene, frequency of use of sanitising/disinfection products, etc.
  • Advice to exhibitors on implementing effective cleaning and disinfection of stands, offices along with guidance on personal hygiene measures and common preventive behaviour
  • Public health guidelines and advice communication to Barcelona hotels, public and private transport, restaurants and catering outlets, retail, etc.

“We strongly urge exhibitors and attendees to implement appropriate guidelines and protocols as suggested by the WHO and other health authorities to contain and mitigate against any further spread of the virus.”

This latest announcement, giving the green light for the event to go ahead, follows GSMA’s previous announcement last Thursday that it was “monitoring and assessing the potential impact of the Coronavirus”.

 


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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