The Mobile World Congress (MWC), the yearly telecoms industry gathering that draws over 100,000 guests to Barcelona, was dropped Wednesday after a mass departure by exhibitors due to fears over the coronavirus epidemic.
Bowing to the fixed, the GSMA telecoms association that hosts the get-together stated it had suspended the February 24-27 event regardless of assurances from local and national health delegates that it would have been safe to hold it.
The declaration followed a disaster meeting of the GSMA committee after its hand was forced by the pullout of European anchor members along with Deutsche Telekom, BT, Vodafone, and Nokia.
It stated it would all the time support Barcelona as the host city of the MWC.
Barcelona’s mayor, Ada Colau, stated earlier she wanted to send a “message of peace,” insisting the city was prepared to host the event. In contrast, Spanish health delegates repeated that there was no reason to cancel the MWC event.
WHO, a UN agency leading the coronavirus crisis response, had also called in vain for calm.
That failed; nevertheless, to alleviate concerns amongst major exhibitors that the precautions can be insufficient to stop the virus, which has spread past China’s frontiers to two dozen nations.
The Chinese participant at MWC has numbered 5,000-6,000 in recent years, making the event notably vulnerable given the epidemic of the virus that has killed over 1,300 people on the Chinese mainland.