The inaugural conference of the African Astronomical Society for 2020(AfAS2020) has been postponed. The conference was initially scheduled from 16th to 19th of March in Cape Town, South Africa.
According to an announcement by AfAS2020 organisers, the decision to postpone the conference was made by the Executive Committee(EC), with respect to the recent Coronavirus(Covid-19).
” The difficult decision of the Executive Committee to postpone the holding of the AfAS2020 meeting to a later date is taken out of concern for the safety and well-being of participants”, the document reads.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this decision. The AfAS EC and the LOC
responded to current uncertain and changing circumstances as quickly as possible,
facing concerns from some of our participants, pursuing every possible scenario to
maintain the successful hosting of the AfAS2020 conference”.
The document concludes by saying a new date for the event will be announced.
With countries in various parts of the world, especially in Africa, announcing fresh cases of the Coronavirus, organisers of international events are postponing events to safeguard the health of delegates, with most governments imposing restrictions and bans on international travelling to and fro the seven worst-hit countries.
In Africa, nine countries: Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Togo and Tunisia, according to the World Health Organisation(WHO), have reported more than 90 coronavirus cases, with Nigeria and South Africa reporting fresh cases of the virus, and one death in Egypt. Egypt currently has the highest number of 55 confirmed cases on the continent.
Notwithstanding, the World Health Organisation has advised frequent handwashing with water and soap as one of the major ways of safeguarding oneself and mitigating the spread of the disease.