Cisco Australia has cancelled its flagship local customer and partner event Cisco Live, which was due to take place from March 3rd to 6th in Melbourne.
A Cisco spokesperson said the decision to cancel was "Due to ongoing concerns about the current outbreak of COVID-19 (commonly referred to as Coronavirus),"
"This was a very difficult decision and not one that we took lightly," the spokesperson continued. "However, our number one priority is ensuring the safety of all attendees and we strongly believe this is the right decision given the current circumstances"
Cisco expected 8,500 people would attend this year's event.
CRN understands senior US-based Cisco executives recently cancelled a trip to Australia on which it was expected they would meet clients and prospects to discuss new products. That decision was made despite no knowledge of un-contained cases of the virus in either the USA or Australia. Cisco also pulled out of this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and that event was ultimately canceled too!
Cisco is not alone in its caution. Other vendors have privately told us that all staff travel has been frozen due to the virus. A major distributor told us that any staff travel currently requires high-level signoff and must be rated as essential, but staff can opt out if they choose.
World Health Organisation director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom spoke on response to COVID-19 earlier this morning and expressed guarded optimism about the global response to the virus and a slowing of newly-detected cases in China.
"The number of newly confirmed #COVID19 cases reported from #China has declined steadily for the past week, but that must be interpreted with extreme caution.— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 12, 2020
This outbreak could still go in any direction"-@DrTedros