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Geneva Motor Show organizers are pressing exhibitors from coronavirus-infected areas to check staff for symptoms before arriving in Switzerland... Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Following the first confirmation in Switzerland of coronavirus after a 70-year old man was tested positive in the southern canton of Ticino, near the border with Italy, organizers of the upcoming 2020 Geneva Motor Show are advising staff and visitors with symptoms to stay away from the Palexpo where one of the most important events in the auto calendar is due to be held early next month.

The Swiss-based show - which is expected to open its doors to the public on March 5 until 15 - attracts around 600,000 visitors every year, but due to the current circumstances, the number for this year’s event could be significantly lower. Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen and more have already confirmed they will attend but things could well change in the next few days as the virus continues to spread and wreak havoc all over the world.

“In the context of the coronavirus epidemic afflicting particularly China, Palexpo SA is carefully observing the situation and its possible implications for exhibitors, visitors, partners and employees in view of the upcoming events in the Palexpo halls,” read a statement from the Palexpo.

Organizers are encouraging exhibitors from at-risk areas to ensure their staff pass all necessary checks before flying to Switzerland so as to avoid any risk of spread.

Some of the measures that will be taken if the show still goes ahead includes increased cleaning and disinfecting across all high-volume touch points along with awareness and training for all staff on standard personal preventive measures.

The spread of the disease has forced the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress, a tech trade fair in Barcelona that had been expected to host more than 100,000 delegates from about 200 countries.

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