We wish to inform you of concerns about the 16th International Thyroid Congress (ITC) regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus disease.
See below the message from the Program and Local Organizing Committees of the 16th ITC dated February 16th, 2020:
The outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection has unfortunately led to uncertainties for the upcoming 16th International Thyroid Congress in China. In early February, a joint statement, Bulletin Regarding the 16th ITC, was released by AOTA, LATS, ETA, and ATA. The Organizing Committees are making every effort to enable the conference to be unaffected. Below are updates regarding COVID-19 and its influence on the conference.
Current situation in China
In China, the National Health Commission of China releases daily briefing on novel coronavirus cases on the website, so as to people are aware of the changing affected numbers of COVID-19. As of Feb 15, 2020, 82% of the cases were from Hubei Province, the hardest-hit province in this outbreak. Numbers of newly confirmed cases in mainland of China (exclude Hubei Province) have been declining since February 4, 2020.
China has stepped up enormous efforts to curb the spread of COVID-2019. All 31 provinces in mainland China have now adopted the first-level response to major public health emergencies. The central government and some provincial governments have provided food and medical supplies and dispatched expert groups and medical teams to manage and control the outbreak in Hubei Province.
Growing evidence of the pathogens responsible for COVID-19 infection, as well as the epidemiological characteristics, and clinical features has been revealed and published. Chinese experts, along with scientists worldwide, are seeking ways to accelerate the development of interventions including vaccines and therapeutics.
Actions from the 16th International Thyroid Congress
The program organizing committee (POC) and local organizing committee (LOC) have extended deadlines for abstract submissions and early bird registrations. So far, the POC and LOC would like to proceed the 16th International Congress as planned. But at the current time, we advise delaying making travel plans. The POC and LOC are actively staying abreast of the situation and will endeavor to keep members of sister societies appraised of updated information.
The International Coordinating Committee (ICC) that joins the Presidents and Secretaries of the 4 Thyroid sister societies worldwide (AOTA, LATS, ETA, and ATA) have been actively working on this issue these past days. After some agreements and communication with the 16th ITC Organizing Committees, Prof. Weiping Teng, POC Chair and Prof. Zhongyan Shan, LOC Vice-chair sent the following message:
“We would like to use March 31, 2020 as the deadline to make a decision on whether or not we still hold the ITC2020 in China in September. We hope this would be helpful for our colleagues to avoid unnecessary abstract submissions and registrations, and re-arrange their personal schedules. If by then we decide not to have the meeting as we previously planned, we will enter into in-depth discussions with the LOC, POC and AOTA to figure out our further measures (changing location or changing time) as soon as possible.”
The LATS will endeavor to provide updates as they become available.
Ana Luiza Maia – President
Claudia Gabriela Pellizas – Secretary