Slew of events cancelled due to Covid-19
By ECCT & ICRT staff writers
A slew of events and activities scheduled to be held in Taiwan have been postponed or cancelled over fears of contagion from the 2019 novel coronavirus (Covid-19), including international shows, religious, school and sporting events. Meanwhile, President Tsai Ing-wen has suspended preparations for her second inauguration ceremony in order to prioritize prevention efforts against the coronavirus outbreak.
Last week, two major international orchid shows that had been scheduled to take place in Taichung and Tainan later this month were postponed. Both the 2020 Taiwan International Orchid Show that was to be held in Tainan, and the 23rd World Orchid Conference in Taichung, have been postponed to as yet undetermined future dates.
New Taipei, Taipei, Tainan and other cities last week also announced the cancellation or suspension of large scale school and sporting events in their cities. At a municipal meeting, New Taipei Mayor Hou You-yi issued a directive for all schools in the city to cancel their scheduled graduation trips while the Tainan City government cancelled an iron man triathlon that had been scheduled for 8 March in the city.
Organizers of the Dajia Matsu Pilgrimage, the largest annual religious procession in Taiwan,
said on Thursday last week that the event will be postponed while administrators at Zheng-lan Temple in Taichung's Da-jia District said they were calling off three of their major annual events, to cut down on the risk of Covid-19 spreading among worshippers.
This follows announcements last week by authorities in Saudi Arabia, who have halted travel to Islamic holy sites in the country just months ahead of the annual hajj pilgrimage.
More disruptions are to be expected at the prompting of local authorities and medical associations, including The Taiwan Public Health Association, which are calling for large-scale events in Taiwan to be called off to limit the capacity for Covid-19 to spread.
While the ECCT maintains a policy of business as usual regarding the running of its events and activities, several events and activities have had to be postponed at the request of guests and speakers.