The fear surrounding COVID-19, the coronavirus disease that first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, led to the cancellation of Mobile World Congress 2020 in Barcelona. Now other large tech industry conferences are losing big company participation as concerns over employee safety and quarantines persist.
IBM, for example, has pulled out from the RSA Conference in San Francisco, which is scheduled to take place from February 24-28. The story broke on Twitter as journalists were circulating a statement sent out by IBM.
It's official, IBM is pulling out of @RSAConference over virus fears: "The health of IBMers continues to be our primary concern as we monitor upcoming events and travel relative to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, we are cancelling our participation in this year's RSA"— Iain Thomson (@iainthomson) February 14, 2020
As of February 12, on its page of regular updates about coronavirus concerns, the RSA Conference organizers noted that the conference was going to proceed as planned. "Approximately 83 percent of our current registered attendees are from the United States as are 82 percent of our exhibiting organizations. The travel restrictions implemented by the U.S. Government on January 31, 2020, remain in effect and according to the CDC’s latest situation summary, the health risk from coronavirus for the general American public is considered low at this time," the conference wrote on its events page.
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