As China continues to fight the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus, tech giant Huawei has been forced to postpone an upcoming conference.
The company’s HDC.Cloud developer conference was to take place in Shenzhen, China on Feb. 11 and 12. But as Chinese authorities continue to implement quarantines and travel restrictions to wrangle the spread of the coronavirus, Huawei announced it would push the conference back to March 27 and 28.
So far, 17 people have died after contracting this version of the coronavirus, with over 600 people reported to have been infected. While this outbreak is believed to have originated in Wuhan, it’s spread to other countries, including the U.S. and Japan.
Huawei’s announcement follows what’s been referred to as an “unprecedented” quarantine by Chinese authorities of the major city of Wuhan and surrounding cities, affecting close to 25 million people. Additionally, anyone traveling from Wuhan to the U.S. is now being funneled through one of five airports – Atlanta, Chicago (O’Hare), Los Angeles, New York (JFK), and San Francisco – for screening.
The current virus is a relative of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus, which saw an outbreak in 2002 and 2003, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which had an outbreak in 2012. Infections often originate in animals but can be spread to humans. The viruses can result in respiratory infections and, sometimes, illnesses like pneumonia.
For what it’s worth, Shenzhen, where Huawei’s conference was to take place, is about 660 miles south of Wuhan. While that’s a sizable distance, it also reflects the efforts the Chinese government is going to in trying to prevent the spread of the virus.
China’s quick response to the outbreak has been praised for helping to prevent any further spread of the disease even as residents of Wuhan report empty grocery store shelves and accuse the government of holding back key information.