March 10, 2020 — After a careful assessment of the situation and following the security measures adopted by the Austrian government, the ESTRO leadership reached the conclusion that the most appropriate solution to ensure the safety and well-being of its community is to postpone The European SocieTy for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) 2020 and the World Congress of Brachytherapy (WCB). The co-located event is now scheduled to take place July 31- August 4, 2020, in Vienna, Austria. These dates will allow the Congress to maintain the same scientific format, city and congress center.
The COVID-19 outbreak has brought about an increasing number of concerns worldwide. As the ESTRO release states, the last days have seen an acceleration and escalation in the policies adopted across Europe and worldwide. "This decision aims to minimize the health risks related to the spreading of COVID-19 and to address the increasing inability to travel for speakers and attendees. Considering these implications, we believe that postponing the Congress is the best solution to allow participants to attend safely and maintain the high level of quality of the scientific program," said a statement released from ESTRO leadership. "This decision has not been made lightly, and we would like to thank you for your understanding and continuous support. Please be assured that we are taking all the necessary measures to ensure that ESTRO 2020 retains its status as a highly recognised scientific medical event."
The society is working to adopt a set of specific policies to ease, as much as possible, the implications of this rescheduling.
COVID-19 Cancels Other Medical Conferences
Last week the large Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual meeting was cancelled just days before it was supposed to open in Orlando, Fla., this week. The decision was made in part because dozens of vendors, including several anchor vendors, started to pull out of the conference. Attendees also started cancelling in large numbers as their hospitals began implementing travel restrictions last week. The hospitals and health systems are preparing for the possibility of outbreaks of the virus in the United States and the hospitals needing to implement emergency plans that include roles for all their staff.
Read the article COVID-19 Cancels HIMSS Health IT Conference
COVID-19 fears also cancelled two European medical conferences last week. The European Society of Radiology announced it is postponing its European Congress of Radiology (ECR) annual meeting that was supposed to take placed March 11-15 in Vienna, Austria. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) sponsored Acute Cardiovascular Care 2020 conference set for March 7-9, in Athens, Greece, was also cancelled.
Fears of spread also cancelled The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR). See sirmeeting.org, or read the article SIR 2020 Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Outbreak in Seattle, to view the full announcement with information about next steps and answers to frequently asked questions.
For more information on ESTRO 2020: www.estro.org
Additional COVID-19 Resources for Clinicians: