Since Singapore's DORSCON Orange notification, which was announced on 7 February 2020, the organizers had been implementing the necessary measures to ensure that SCA20 could proceed in accordance with the Singapore Ministry of Health's recommendations such as temperature screening, travel declarations to mainland China, increased vigilance for unwell individuals and increased hygiene measures, among others.
The SCA20 was on course to be the biggest, and most supported, conference to date. The organizers had more Exhibitors signed up, exciting new tracks and sessions as well as a line-up of excellent speakers. The attendance for the Opening day alone was more than 500 at last count. The decision to proceed with the SCA20 conference then had been guided by the data, information and updates that the organizers had on hand. The majority of the key Speakers, major Sponsors and Exhibitors were continuing preparations for their presentations and booths at the conference. Registration numbers continued to rise.
However, in the past few days, the organizers have received concerns and communications from some of their key partners, sponsors and Keynote speakers citing advisories from their home countries to avoid non-essential travel to Singapore. This has resulted in a number of withdrawals - a decision that the organizers understand and fully respect. They are aware and hear other concerns as well. These concerns, together with the withdrawals and the unpredictable COVID-19 situation, makes running the SCA20 conference untenable.
The Secretariat will be contacting the different exhibitors and sponsors separately after this announcement for arrangements. Delegates and participants still currently registered will have their registration fees refunded.
Nonetheless, the organizers hope that you will also keep a look out for future messages from the SCA team. They are already planning for a bigger, better SCA21 next year minus the virus.