Bond, a UK network of international aid charities, has cancelled its annual conference “due to health and safety concerns related to the Covid-19 outbreak”.
The conference was due to take place on the 23 and 24 of March 2020 in London. It is the biggest international development event in Europe, bringing together over 1,000 people from around the world.
Increasing concerns over the spread of coronavirus and advice from Public Health England and the UK government meant that Bond did not want to risk contributing inadvertently to the spread of the virus.
The Bond International Development Awards will still take place but in a digital format.
Stephanie Draper, Bond chief executive, said: “After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Bond Conference 2020 in London due to health and safety concerns related to the Covid-19 outbreak.
“The wellbeing of everyone who takes part in the Bond Conference is our priority. Having followed the regular guidance and advice carefully from Public Health England and the UK government we feel this is a necessary precaution.
“The good news is, the Bond awards will still be taking place digitally, so we will still get a chance to honour the impressive staff, volunteers and projects from across the sector that have helped so many people around the world facing the impact of poverty, inequality, conflict and climate change.”
According to the latest figures, tests have confirmed 373 UK cases in the UK. Six people who tested positive for the Covid-19 disease have died in UK hospitals.
Health minister and Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Dorries said she has been self-isolating at home.
NHS advice states people may need to seek medical advice if they have recently travelled to the UK from somewhere with a higher risk of Covid-19. Some of these places include China, Iran, Italy and Japan.
Dropbox is currently offering free Dropbox Business for NGOs fighting Covid-19.