With the Coronavirus outbreak seemingly not settling down, gathering people from around the world in one location seems like a pretty bad idea.
LG has cottoned on to that fact, and has announced that it has cancelled its appearance at Mobile World Congress 2020, which starts on the 24th February.
In their statement LG notes:
LG Electronics is closely monitoring and monitoring the current situation related to the outbreak of the coronavirus that was recently declared a world emergency by the World Health Organization, as the virus continues to spread outside of China.
Putting the safety and health of its employees, partners and customers, LG has decided to cancel its exhibition and participation in the MWC 2020 to be held later this month in Barcelona.
This decision completely eliminates the risk of exposing LG employees to the virus on international travel, an activity that has become much more restrictive in LG as the virus continues to spread.
Instead of participating in the MWC 2020, LG will soon hold other events to announce its new 2020 mobiles. LG Electronics thanks its users and the public for their understanding during these difficult and challenging times.
LG is not the only one responding to the threat. ZTE has cancelled their launch event, and will only maintain a floor presence.
The GMA has reassured attendees that appropriate measures would keep users safe. These include prior cleaning, disinfection, and hygiene efforts, including suggesting a “no-handshake policy” to attendees, switching microphones between event speakers, and reminding attendees of hygiene recommendations. It’s also suggesting that attendees guarantee access to masks, arrive early in Spain to “allow time for self-quarantine,” and follow both WHO advice and whatever travel restrictions may be in place.
It seems likely now that the floodgates have opened other exhibits will follow suit, and given that most major launches now happen outside the event this would likely be the safest course of action.