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With Naidex less than two weeks away, speculation arose as to whether the UK’s largest independent living and healthcare event would still proceed amongst recent coronavirus developments. In a statement released today, Naidex has confirmed that the show is postponed to a later date to be confirmed on the 16th of March.

The decision comes amid growing speculation regarding the fate of this year’s show and the safety of visitors, with thousands of elderly and disabled people expected to attend who are most at risk if they contract the virus.

Issued today, an official statement from Naidex organiser Roar techmedia says: “The organiser of leading care show Naidex (17th-18th March 2020, NEC Birmingham), has been closely monitoring updates on the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

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“Like many large event organisers, the health and safety of our visitors, exhibitors and staff is always our number one priority. This is particularly pertinent in the care and health sector communities that Naidex brings together.

“Many of our visitors are, or are on the frontline of supporting, the most vulnerable in society. This combined with the fact that health and social care workers will be critical to ongoing containment and management strategies, means that we have taken the decision to reschedule Naidex to later in the year and will confirm this date by Monday 16th March 2020.

“This will include all events co-located with Naidex including Smart Home for Assisted Living, Dementia, Care & Nursing Home, Home Care Expo, Care Tech Live, European Neuro Convention, Medical Imaging Convention, European Oncology Convention and AI&ML Convention.

“While this is not a decision that has been taken lightly, we feel that it is the right one – not just for the care and health sector but for the wider community as a whole. We are of course, in ongoing communication with our exhibitors, speakers, partners and suppliers. Those we have managed to speak to thus far have been exceptionally understanding.

“If you are affected and the team hasn’t managed to reach you yet, please know that we will be in touch very shortly. Alternatively please contact the Event team directly at Enquiries@ROARB2B.com or +44 (0) 117 990 2092.

“Thank you for your understanding and support and we look forward to welcoming you later in the year.”

Showcasing the latest innovations in mobility, care, moving & handling, rehabilitation, assistive technology, accessible design and more, Naidex brings together visitors for two days of innovation and education.

Although the postponing of Naidex will have significant repercussions for exhibitors, who will have invested a lot in the way of marketing materials, promotion, hotel expenses and more, many are relieved the show has been pushed back to protect vulnerable visitors.

A rising epidemic

The announcement comes as coronavirus continues to spread across the UK, with the total number of people in the UK diagnosed with the virus at 116 – a worrying increase of more than 30 in 24 hours. On Thursday 5th March, the first UK fatality as a result of coronavirus was confirmed following the passing of a woman in her 70s.

In addition, Birmingham also saw its first confirmed coronavirus case on Thursday. According to Birmingham City Council, the affected individual is currently being treated in hospital, though their symptoms are said to not be severe.

Following the recent coronavirus developments in the UK, health officials in the UK are moving towards phase two of their response plans to the coronavirus which will aim to “delay” the spread, giving the NHS vital time required to prepare for a mass outbreak.

The Government confirmed that it would formally announce when the response officially switches from “contain” to “delay” – the action has not yet been taken.

According to the NHS, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk of coronavirus to the public from low to moderate.

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