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GWEC Postpone event due to Covid-19

Health and safety concerns in the wake of the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) have prompted organisers of international wind power and energy summits to cancel or postpone their events.

The European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) have decided to postpone the Global Offshore Wind Summit that had originally been scheduled for 21-23 April, 2020, to a date in October of this year.

“Considering health and safety concerns as well as travel restrictions placed on international participants, we believe it is in the best interest of all participants to postpone the event until the autumn when the virus will likely be under control,” the organisers said.

“The organisers’ decision has the full support of the supporting organisers, including Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).”

Despite its close links to mainland China, Taiwan so far has actually been one of the areas that were less affected by the virus, with 40 reported cases of Covid-19 and one death by March 2.

On the American continent, analyst IHS Markit said it has cancelled its annual energy conference CERAWeek that had been planned to take place in Houston from March 9 to 13, 2020, citing rapidly mounted concerns

“The World Health Organization raised the threat level on Friday, the US government cancelled a summit meeting scheduled in Las Vegas, an increasing number of companies are instituting travel bans and restrictions, border health checks are becoming more restrictive and there is growing concern about large conferences with people coming from different parts of the world,” IHS Markit said.

The organisers had established a medical partnership with the Houston Methodist Hospital, but said that in the end Covid-19 was spreading too quickly around the world. CERAWeek had been expecting delegates from over 80 countries.

The US had 62 reported cases and one death from Covid-19 by Monday morning.

In Europe, more regional wind power conferences, such as the BWO Zukunft Offshore conference in Berlin this week, or the DNV Hamburg Offshore Wind Conference in April for the time being are still on, with organisers monitoring the situation.

But other, larger, events in Europe were cancelled.

Germany’s federal health and economics ministries have halted the international tourism conference ITB Berlin that was supposed to take place this week, and Swiss authorities cancelled the Geneva Motor Show that had been scheduled for March 5-15, due to a country-wide ban on events with more than 1,000 people.

UK health secretary Matt Hancock has said he could not rule out banning large events, if the situation gets worse, while France has already banned indoor gatherings with more than 5,000 people.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is currently no known effective antiviral therapy for Covid-19, although it also said that most cases (80%) experienced only mild illness, with only 5% getting critically ill

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