Update: KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2020 has been postponed.
Despite worries around the spread of the coronavirus, the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe conference — expected to bring thousands of Kubernetes knowledge-seekers to Amsterdam next month — will go on as planned, according to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the event’s organizers.
“The CNCF is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and is very sympathetic for the challenging circumstances faced by our many partners in China,” a spokesperson e-mailed The New Stack. “Based on the current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, we expect KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe to go forward as planned from March 30 to April 2. We will, of course, be taking all recommended precautions to ensure that our attendees remain safe and healthy.”
Although KubeCon may be a bit too far off to worry about quite yet, health concerns around the 2019-nCoV infection have wreaked havoc on another upcoming tech show, Mobile World Conference, scheduled Feb. 24-27 in Barcelona. Citing safety concerns for their employees, a number of major vendors have pulled out from that event, including Amazon, Nvidia, Sony and Ericsson, according to news reports.
MWC is expected to draw 2,800 exhibitors and 100,000 attendees — though event organizers will limit attendees from China. It will take other precautions as well, such as increased cleaning of public hotspots such as handrails, public touch screens, bathrooms and speaker microphones, according to CNN.
The World Health Organization has designated the coronavirus outbreak to a global health emergency status. Nonetheless, the organization has stated that “There is no evidence at present to suggest that there is a community spread in Europe, so WHO/Europe is not currently requesting that large gatherings are canceled,” in a statement to Fortune magazine. LG Electronics, which pulled out from MWC, cited WHO’s recommendation that people “promote social distancing,” from one another.
It is difficult to judge the full potential impact of the new coronavirus as it spreads beyond its point of origin in the Wuhan province of China, given the number of unknowns around the incubation period, speed of transmissibility, the range of asymptomatic transmission, and other factors. “There are so many unknowns here,” noted Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health, in a U.S. White House press briefing on Feb. 1.
As of Tuesday, more than 40,000 people have been infected, and 910 have died — including 97 people in China yesterday alone. It is now considered more deadly than the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002-3, which killed 774 victims.
As of press time, no sponsors have pulled out from KubeCon though we will update this page as we learn more.
The Cloud Native Computing Foundation and KubeCon + CloudNativeCon are sponsors of The New Stack.