Insurance conference, HBF run cancelled over COVID-19
Growing concerns over the novel coronavirus have led this week to the cancellation of multiple business and sporting events, with the largest being HBF's Run for a Reason and the annual Steadfast Convention, which would have brought more than 2,000 insurance industry delegates to Perth later this month.
Run for a Reason, which attracts about 30,000 participants each year, was cancelled today along with the Autumn season of the HBF Fitness program.
“Our number one priority is the health and wellbeing of our members, event participants and the wider community,” HBF chief executive John Van der Wielen said.
“We believe it is prudent not to stage large-scale community activities given the risk of spreading COVID-19."
People who have registered for Run for a Reason will be able to obtain full refunds from Monday 16 March.
The Steadfast Convention, which was to be held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre over March 22-24, was cancelled due to “ongoing concerns” about the spreading of COVID-19.
CBRE has cancelled its Asia Pacific real estate outlook event, which was to be held next Tuesday at Frasers. The property group said it would reschedule the event when appropriate to do so.
A medical careers exhibition to be held at the UWA Club has also been cancelled.
Over east, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission today announced its annual forum and dinner has been postponed. ASIC said it was working to reschedule the event.
These cancellations follow the scrapping in recent weeks of several big industry conferences with an international flavour, including Cisco Live in Melbourne.
Meanwhile, sporting clubs are taking action, with the possibility of AFL matches being played without spectators.
The Socceroos will not host any Asian World Cup qualifiers in March and June, after the matches were postponed by FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation.
This includes a planned fixture against Kuwait, which was to be played at HBF Park later this month.
It follows an announcement from Perth Glory earlier this week, saying the club had postponed its home match with Korean team Ulsan Hyundai on March 18.
The AFC will determine new fixture dates over the coming weeks, Perth Glory said.
In another indicator of the spreading impact of coronavirus, Foodbank WA declared its shelves have been “stripped bare” following a spike in demand for emergency food assistance.
The organisation said it was seeking financial support from the state government and local businesses.
“Sourcing enough food remains a challenge for us and while we are continuing to work with our food and grocery industry partners, donations have slowed,” chief executive Greg Hebble said.
"We really need funds to purchase food more than ever.”
The announcements come as Prime Minister Scott Morrison extended the coronavirus travel ban to Italy and the Western Australian government declared an updated pandemic plan for COVID-19.
The state government also recently set up clinics at Royal Perth Hospital, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Fiona Stanley Hospital to test patients for coronavirus.
WA Department of Health is also issuing self-quarantine and testing notices to patients it believes to be at risk of contagion.