AGENCIES, Geneva: The Swiss government is taking no chances with events that attract more than a 1,000 people and among planned events cancelled includes the forthcoming Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) due to coronavirus scare.
Europe’s neutral venue for automakers was supposed to begin on Monday and it was called off following the advice of the health authorities to government. The prestigious show’s organisers cited “force majeure” when announcing to exhibitors that the event was being dropped.
High profile media events for March 3-4 included the European Car of the Year announcement following which it was to open for public March 5 through 15 at the Palexpo exhibition centre.
Till two days ago, it seemed everything was going on as per schedule. However, it has been revealed that several confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Geneva and other parts of Switzerland. There has been a substantial outbreak of the coronavirus, in northern Italy recently and similar cases are being reported European countries.
“We regret this situation, but the health of all participants is our and our exhibitors’ top priority. This is a case of force majeure and a tremendous loss for the manufacturers who have invested massively in their presence in Geneva. However, we are convinced that they will understand this decision,” said motor show chairman Maurice Turrettini in a statement. Tickets already purchased for the event will be refunded.