Coronavirus conference ‘cancelled due to coronavirus’

A business conference focusing on coronavirus has reportedly been cancelled to avoid spreading the virus.

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) cancelled a roundtable conference which was meant to take place on Friday, alongside other in-person conferences scheduled between 11 March and 3 April around the US.

The CFR’s “Doing Business Under Coronavirus” conference joins a growing list of cancelled or postponed events in New York state, which holds the largest cluster of cases in the US.

The think tank told The Independent: “Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the Council on Foreign Relations, like many other organisations, has suspended all in-person events effectively today through at least Friday, 3 April 2020. Our foremost concern is for the health and safety of Council members, staff and the community.”

Authorities have confirmed 173 cases of the virus in New York, with 108 of them located in New Rochelle where a one-mile (1.6 km) “containment zone” has been enforced.

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Andrew Cuomo, governor of the state, announced National Guard troops would be deployed into New Rochelle to deliver food and help contain the outbreak.

He said: “It is a dramatic action, but it is the largest cluster of cases in the country. The numbers are going up unabated and we do need a public health strategy.”

Events and gatherings in nearly every imaginable sector, from sports to business to culture, have been cancelled or postponed as the US tries to contain the coronavirus outbreak which has infected more than 1,000 people and killed 29.

A major tennis tournament, the BNP Paribas Open, which was due to take place in California this week was cancelled after local health authorities declared a public health emergency in the Coachella Valley.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has also been affected. The festival, attended by hundreds of thousands of people annually, was postponed from its original dates in April to October.

After Ohio confirmed three cases of coronavirus, Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden called off campaign events in Cleveland on Tuesday in the first major presidential race cancellations related to the virus.

The rising number in cases in the US prompted the White House and Congress to consider measures on Tuesday to bolster the US economy and citizens’ paychecks, but no immediate deal has been reached yet.

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