Geneva auto show called off as Switzerland’s bans large events to prevent Coronavirus spread

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Geneva: In a sad news for automobile enthusiasts, the Geneva auto show has been cancelled after the Swiss government on Friday announced an immediate ban on all “public and private” events in the country involving more than 1,000 people as a measure to halt the spread of the new coronavirus.

The measure will last until at least March 15, officials said. Among the events that will be affected are the annual Geneva International Motor Show, which was due to take place from March 5-15 and draws tens of thousands of visitors every year.

According to reports, Olivier Rihs, head of the group that organizes the auto show, GIMS Swiss, confirmed that the show would be cancelled.

“We aware that this measure will have a significant impact on public life,” Switzerland’s interior minister, Alain Berset was quoted in a report.

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However, the move is expected to provide effective protection to people in Switzerland and to public health,” he said. “It should prevent or delay the spread of the disease in Switzerland, thus reducing its momentum.”

For events with fewer than 1,000 people, organizers “must carry out a risk assessment in conjunction with the competent cantonal (state) authorities to decide whether or not the event can be held,” the government said Berset said that large offices or public buildings wouldn’t be shut down by the measure.

Switzerland has reported 15 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. It borders northern Italy, which has seen the largest cluster of cases in Europe.

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