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Organisations and event managers worldwide are taking measure to avoid the spread of COVID-19 by cancelling, postponing or going digital on their events. Here's a list of the major gloabl event changes as of March 5.

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Entertainment events

As the world reels to curb the spread of the coronavirus, major entertainment events around the world have been postponed or cancelled.

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IMF and World Bank to hold virtual meetings

Gopinath's IMF and the World Bank (WB) announced on Tuesday that they are going to hold virtual meetings as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus instead of requiring the physical presence of participants.

The international economic organisations' heads, Kristalina Georgieva of the IMF and David Malpass of the WB, announced the switch for their high-level spring meetings that were to run from April 13 to 19 in Washington with finance ministers and central bankers attending.

"Our goal is to serve our membership effectively while ensuring the health and safety of Spring Meetings participants and staff," they said in a joint statement.

The WB had earlier said that 2,800 delegates from member countries, 350 observers, 550 civil society organisation representatives and 800 journalists usually attend the annual spring meetings.

The spring meetings include several side events like seminars, civil society meetings and cultural events, all of which have been cancelled.

The IMF said that for the virtual meetings format it "will leverage our IT and virtual connections capabilities to the fullest, complemented by our online platforms (such as the World Bank Group and IMF websites and social media accounts), online media briefing centres, and other means of digital communications."


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From golf to cycling to football, there have been changes in event schedules across global sporting events in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. Here is a full list of all the recent sport event changes and football event changes in light of the outbreak.

Fashion Weeks

Rakuten Tokyo Fashion Week, scheduled for March 16 to 21, has been cancelled, following on from fashion weeks in Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul.

Arnold Sports Festival goes digital

The sports competition, named for Arnold Schwarzenegger, will continue as planned on March 5 without an audience. The finals, organisers told media, would be open to spectators as of now.

Baselworld postponed

The world’s largest watch and jewellery show, Baselworld, has been rescheduled from early May this year to late January 2021.

The London Book Fair

One of the world’s largest international book festivals, the London Book Fair, has been cancelled amid coronavirus fears. Around 25,000 publishers, agents, and authors were meant to attend the fair from March 10 to 12. Before the cancellation, many attendees had backed out as well.

Ultra Music Festival

The iconic three-day electronic music festival, scheduled for March 20 to 22, has been “suspended” until next year. This the first time in 21 years the festival will not take place in Miami.

In a statement posted in the early hours of March 3, Ultra Abu Dhabi also confirmed that the event in the UAE has been called off following restrictions being placed on travel.

Asean meeting

US President Donald Trump postponed a meeting leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Las Vegas. “As the international community works together to defeat the novel coronavirus, the United States, in consultation with ASEAN partners, has made the difficult decision to postpone the ASEAN leaders meeting,” one of the sources, a senior administration official, told Reuters.

Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con

Emerald City Comic Con had previously issued a statement saying the convention would continue as planned, but prioritizing “sanitisation”. However, attendees have been cancelling tickets while DC and Dark Horse Comics have cited ‘staff safety’ as a reason for pulling out of the event.

MEFCC, the annual comic con event in the UAE, said it would be going ahead with the event while enforcing precautionary measures including screening and sanitisation.

Formula One

The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai set for April 19 has been postponed by the governing body FIA and Formula One. The authorities will consider alternative dates later in the year.

Melbourne's major events chief Martin Pakula is confident the Australian Grand Prix will go ahead as scheduled on March 15, but said he could offer no firm guarantees because of the dynamic nature of the epidemic.

SXSW Participants

South by Southwest (SXSW) is an annual gathering of parallel film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences organised jointly that take place in mid-March in Austin in the United States. While the festival plans to operate as usual, several big names have decided to pull their contributions. Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Intel, China Gathering, and Mashable have pulled out of the event.

Tech events

Google cancelled its I/O developer event which was due to take place May 12 to 14, days after the tech giant scrapped its Cloud Next event in San Francisco in favor of a “digital-first” event. Attendees will be refunded in full by March 13, Google informed ticket buyers, and added that those who purchased tickets for this year’s event would be automatically offered the option of buying a Google I/O 2021 ticket.

Facebook announced plans to cancel the annual F8 developers conference in California scheduled for May 5 and 6. Facebook had also canceled its global marketing summit in San Francisco in March.