Novel coronavirus in Singapore: Major events cancelled due to outbreak

Novel coronavirus in Singapore: Major events cancelled due to outbreak

NATAS travel fair 1
A National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) travel fair in Singapore. (Photo: Facebook/NATAS)

SINGAPORE: Major golfing tournament HSBC Women's World Championship in Singapore was cancelled on Monday (Feb 10) due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision was made after “continued health concerns and recent advisories in some Asian countries that large-scale events should be cancelled or postponed as a result of the coronavirus,” according to an LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) Tour statement.

It had been scheduled to tee off on Feb 27.

A tournament spokesperson told CNA there were 32,000 attendees at last year’s games. The organisers were “looking to build on that figure (and) we were tracking well for 2020”.

Minjee Lee of Australia in action during the HSBC Women's World Championship at the Sentosa
Minjee Lee of Australia in action during the HSBC Women's World Championship at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore AFP/ROSLAN RAHMAN

After the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) alert level was raised to Orange on Friday, the Ministry of Health urged organisers to cancel or defer non-essential large-scale events.

Here is a list of other high-profile events that have been postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus:

READ: Coronavirus outbreak: Singapore raises DORSCON level to Orange; schools to suspend inter-school, external activities

1) MEETINGS, INCENTIVES, CONFERENCES AND EXHIBITIONS (MICE)

On Monday (Feb 10), the Swedish embassy in Singapore said it was calling off the Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit due to the latest developments regarding the coronavirus. It was previously slated to be held at the Capella Hotel from Feb 13 to 14.

“In consultation with the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Business Sweden and local counterparts we have concluded that cancelling the Summit is the correct decision at this juncture,” the embassy said in a press statement.

READ: Novel coronavirus in Singapore: What we know about the patients who have fully recovered

Other events being deferred include the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers’ inaugural Asian Media Leaders Summit - which has been moved from March to July - and the American Chamber of Commerce’s Asia Pacific Business Summit.

Even before the DORSCON level changed, several organisers decided to suspend their events due to concerns over the risk of infection.

Last Thursday (Feb 6), Citibank said that it was axing its Asia Pacific Investor Conference that was supposed to take place at The Ritz-Carlton from Feb 19 to 20.

The meeting, which was into its 17th edition this year, is one of Citibank's largest annual conferences held in the region, attracting more than 1,000 institutional investors, issuers and C-suite financial professionals.

READ: Commentary: Novel coronavirus outbreak weighs heavily on global economy

The National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS), announced at the beginning of February that it was pushing back its annual travel fair.

The NATAS Travel 2020 was moved from Feb 21 to 23 to May 1 to 3, as the association was concerned that the ongoing outbreak would affect turnout.

2) CONCERTS

K-pop boybands Winner and GOT7 were some of the latest groups to take a rain check on their much-anticipated concerts in Singapore.

K-pop band Winner
K-pop band Winner. (Photo: Instagram/winnercity)

READ: K-pop group Winner concert, 3 Esplanade shows latest to be cancelled

Winner’s concert was cancelled just days before the four-member group was slated to perform on Feb 8, while GOT7 postponed their Feb 22 concert indefinitely.

GOT7 concert poster
GOT7 (Photo: Livenation.sg)

Other artists who have called off their concerts here include Korean acts Taeyeon and NCT Dream as well as Hong Kong singer Miriam Yeung.

3) ARTS AND SPORTING EVENTS

The National University of Singapore said on Monday that it will not be holding its annual arts festival this March, although discussions are ongoing to move most of the student productions to a later part of the year.  

Several performances under the Esplanade’s annual Huayi - Chinese Festival of Arts event, which ran from Jan 31 to Feb 9, had to be cancelled as the artistes were “unable to travel from China to Singapore due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus situation,” according to posts on Huayi’s Facebook page.

The Exquisite String Puppetry by Quanzhou Marionette Art Inheritance and Protection Center; Unveiling Kun Opera: Four Dreams in the Camellia Hall – Demo and Performance by Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe were some of the productions that had to be dropped.

Saturday’s performance by Dunman High School and Maris Stella High School and a talk by the Alzheimer’s Disease Association were also cancelled.

On Friday, the People’s Association announced on Facebook that it would not hold the Chingay 2020@Heartlands, which was supposed to start last weekend and continue into March.

All programmes by the Special Olympics Singapore, as well as the National School Games, have also been canned.

Source: CNA/rp(aj)

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