Several major medical meetings have been cancelled or switched to a virtual format in light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, which the World Health Organization recently declared a worldwide pandemic.
Two organizations that have taken this major preventative step include the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR).
AAOS Annual Meeting Cancelled ‘During This Very Uncertain Time’
“After much consideration and discussion, the Academy Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Annual Meeting scheduled for March 24-28, 2020 at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center (OCCC),” AAOS said in a statement on its website.
“The health, safety and well-being of the AAOS global community is our highest priority. Our team has been meeting daily to discuss recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization. We also have been in constant communication with local stakeholders including the OCCC, the Florida Department of Health, our industry partners and with many of our members during this very uncertain time.”
The coronavirus is believed to pose a more significant risk to those aged older than 60 years. “This is a population that relies on AAOS members to deliver the highest quality musculoskeletal care, and we must do what we can to ensure that this essential care is not interrupted,” AAOS said.
There are no immediate plans to reschedule the large-scale meeting, and AAOS said it plans to continue delivering high-quality education to its members virtually.
BSR: Large-scale Meeting ‘No Longer Appropriate’
BSR’s annual conference was set to take place in Glasglow from April 20-22, but the organization said on its website it made the “difficult decision” to cancel the meeting.
“As a health organisation, our focus is on improving healthcare and supporting our members to deliver the best possible patient care. In light of increasing demands on health services, our Board of Trustees felt it was no longer appropriate to host a large-scale event nor to take medical professionals away from where they may be needed most in the coming weeks,” BSR posted on its website. “This decision provides clarity to everyone involved and removes any risks posed to both clinicians and patients.”
“We understand that this decision will have implications for many of you and ask for your patience and understanding while our teams work through the next steps. We will be sending further communications to all those affected as soon as possible. This will include details of how we will showcase some of the content that would have been celebrated at the event.”