It’s important to note that in the case of Covid-19, the real prism of hazard assessment is primarily age and the existence of co-morbidities, i.e., associated pre-existing pathologies*. The virus would be especially dangerous and fatal for the elderly, immuno-compromised people or people suffering from various chronic diseases. This perception is relatively well-founded. That is why the protection of these people who are particularly vulnerable to the virus is now at the heart of the overall coping strategy.
In order to contribute to the international coordination needed to control the pandemic, we have taken steps related to our upcoming international events, staff travel, and in coordination with the World Health Organization.
NEW PLANS FOR UPCOMING WAN-IFRA EVENTS
As a first step, we have postponed most of our events planned until May in affected areas or involving international attendance.
- The Asian Media Leaders Summit 2020 in Singapore is now planned on 21-22 July.
- The Middle East conference initially planned in Dubai on 23-24 March is postponed. New dates for the conference will be announced shortly – these dates will fall around those of the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.
- Digital Media Europe, initially planned in Vienna on 31 March-1 April, is rescheduled for 10-11 November.
- The Kenya Leadership Bootcamp organised by WAN-IFRA’s Women in News programme (24-28 March) is postponed.
A few other meetings will be concerned as we are finalizing our new programme of events for the first semester. The respective teams are working on the communication to our speakers, sponsors and delegates. For further update, the calendar of our international events can be found at the following link event.wan-ifra.org.
With the World News Media Congress due to take place in the middle of June, still 14 weeks away, the WAN-IFRA team continues to plan confidently for the event. We currently have no plans to postpone the Congress.
The WAN-IFRA team remains in close contact with our partners in Zaragoza and local health authorities in Spain. As this unprecedented situation is changing every day, we remain watchful and we are monitoring the situation carefully on a weekly basis. We will take the appropriate decisions in consultation with the local authorities and our local hosts by the end of April. Mindful of our duty of care, we’re also carefully considering and consulting with experts on what the appropriate sanitary, health and other measures should be. Our team can assure you that all appropriate measures will be in place at Congress.
We are grateful for the ongoing support of our exhibitors and attendees who continue to register and plan for the Congress and we’ve not experienced any substantial impacts so far.
WAN-IFRA INTERNATIONAL MEETINGS AND STAFF TRAVEL
In addition to monitoring our calendar of international events, we have also decided to cancel in-person international meetings such as the World Printers Forum Board (Reykjavik, 9-10 March) or the WAN-IFRA’s Executive Board (Vienna, 1 April) and move these to online meetings.
For staff travel on business matters, we have a temporary ban on international travel until the situation improves. To mitigate the risks related to their commute, WAN-IFRA employees can avail of unlimited home office days, during the month of March. If the situation becomes progressively worse, we will extend this to April.
WAN-IFRA JOINS THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM’S COVID ACTION PLATFORM
Mindful of our duty of care, we’re also consulting with experts to take appropriate sanitary, health and other measures. We acknowledge that the sum of individual acts by a business will not add up to a proper response, and only rapid collective action, at scale, will make a difference.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has charged the World Economic Forum to accelerate and coordinate the integration of the business into the fight against coronavirus. WAN-IFRA has joined this international coordination platform, including a weekly dialogue between the WHO leadership, the foremost global experts, and the CEOs and Sherpas of the World Economic Forum’s partner companies.
A COVID Action Platform will be launched later this week to support global mobilization efforts. More will be shared on concrete opportunities for engagement, areas of work, and tools for information-sharing, decision-making and interaction after the launch of the platform.
We do hope the situation improves soon. Please do keep safe by following the World Health Organization guidelines on personal hygiene and travel precautions.
Feel free to contact me personally with any comments or questions you may have.
Vincent Peyrègne, CEO WAN-IFRA