Coronavirus causes SIR to cancel meeting and prompts postponement of ECR

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SIRThe Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) has cancelled its upcoming conference due to the coronavirus outbreak. The conference was to be held in Seattle, USA, from 28 March–2 April.

The cancellation comes in the wake of a Seattle and King County Public Health Department recommendation on 4 March that requested organisers of large public gatherings consider postponing these events.

“Based on these recommendations, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) information, and numerous travel restrictions issued by companies and medical institutions, SIR and SIR Foundation leadership have made the difficult, but necessary and responsible, decision to cancel the SIR 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting in Seattle,” the society said.

SIR plans to refund attendees’ and exhibitors’ registration fees and will cancel any hotel reservations made through its official hotel block, it said. It will not refund individual travel costs. Exhibitors’ space rental fees will be refunded upon written request.

The society plans to explore other meeting options.

“In the coming weeks, we will tap into the innovative and agile spirit of [our] specialty to explore virtual meeting options that deliver world-class education, spotlight interventional radiologists’ ingenuity, and celebrate the many achievements we had planned to recognize in Seattle,” SIR said.

In addition, the European Society of Radiology (ESR) announced last week that is has postponed its annual meeting, the European Congress of Radiology (ECR), originally scheduled for 11–15 March in Vienna, Austria. This will now be held on 15–19 July.

Boris Brkljačić, ESR president, comments on the society’s website: “After careful evaluation of the spreading coronavirus epidemic, and considering the recent statements issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention (ECDP), and the related evolving world-wide restrictions and crisis, the ESR was forced to make this decision. Above all, we have analysed the recommendations from the Austrian health authorities for large-scale events and came to the conclusion that we are not in a position to fulfil their requirements and guarantee a safe congress for our participants and industry partners at this time. The safety, health and well-being of our delegates and partners will always be the highest priority for the ESR.”


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