Computex Organizers Remain Confident Show Will Go On, Despite Coronavirus
The show must go on despite the lingering threat of Coronavirus, says the President and CEO of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the government body responsible for organizing Computex.
In a post published on February 25, Walter Yeh, the CEO of TAITRA, says that while health authorities in Taiwan and event organizers are monitoring the situation, there are no plans to cancel Computex 2020. Yeh says that all visitors will be encouraged to wear face masks, and staff will be onsite to monitor attendees' temperature while maximum levels of hygiene and sanitation will be maintained.
"Taiwan has been extremely effective in protecting the public through the stringent measures that have been implemented, and TAITRA will continue to monitor closely all developments and keep international visitors to Taiwan very well-informed," Yeh says. "International visitors can be further reassured that TAITRA conducts all events in full and strict compliance with health and safety regulations, and will continue to provide frequent updates on developments."
In 2003, with the outbreak of SARS, event organizers moved Computex to September instead of the usual calendar placement of June. Taiwan had 346 confirmed cases of SARS, whereas with the Coronavirus Taiwan only has 31 confirmed cases as of this week.
It's understood that event organizers have informed key stakeholders in Taiwan, such as vendors that would have large booths at the show and be flying in key staff, that a final decision on whether Computex would go ahead as planned will be made in mid-April in conjunction with local health authorities.
All this comes as Coronavirus gets worse around the globe. Global cases of the virus have risen to 80,000, and deaths have surpassed 2,700 worldwide. Iran, Canada, the United States and South Korea have all reported new cases within the past few weeks. In Korea, the number of confirmed cases jumped from a dozen to nearly 1000 within the course of a week.
Fears of the impact of Coronavirus on the global economy has rattled markets in the US. The S&P 500 is down approximately 3% Tuesday afternoon as market prices in reduced demand from China for raw materials and consumer goods.
Recently, an official from the IOC, the body that organizes the Olympics, says that the Tokyo Olympics, currently scheduled for late July, will be canceled if the virus isn't contained by late May.