The situation with regard to Coronavirus (Covid-19) has been developing by the hour, with it officially being classified a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on Wednesday, March 11th. The same day the Peruvian government announced the closure of all schools until March 30th and the Governor of the Federal District of Brazil announced the closure of schools for a minimum of 5 days, with similar measures likely to be introduced soon in other parts of the region.
Many schools and organisations regionally and globally are taking restrictive measures with regard to international travel and several conferences in the region have been cancelled or turned into virtual events over the last few days; most reliable sources are advising that international conferences such as ours present an unnecessary risk of increasing the spread the virus.
Bearing all of the above in mind, the Executive Committee of LAHC consulted with delegates, speakers and exhibitors and arrived at the inevitable decision to postpone the conference until a date sometime in October 2020, to be decided within the next few days. Whilst this is a major setback for us as an association, with the Annual Conference representing a critical moment in our calendar, we recognise our responsibility to the wider community and the ethical imperative to put the wellbeing of all before that of the few.
We sincerely hope that this global challenge will be met successfully through international co-operation and collaboration, and extend our best wishes to all those affected throughout the world.