Coronavirus threat a concern for Auto Expo 2020
4th Feb 2020 4:13 pm
With Auto Expo 2020 set to feature heavy Chinese presence, concerns have emerged relating to the deadly Novel Coronavirus, which originated in China.
SIAM president Rajan Wadhera has issued a statement today saying that all Chinese companies participating at Auto Expo 2020 will have Indian employees and representatives manning their respective stalls. There will be no visitors or delegations from China at the motor show. Additionally, the organisers are also taking precautionary measures – such as making hand sanitizers available – and creating awareness about dealing with the Coronavirus.
With concerns relating to the threat posed by the Novel Coronavirus, Great Wall Motors has issued a statement confirming its Chinese delegation has cancelled plans to travel to India for Auto Expo 2020.
“As a precautionary measure for the ongoing Coronavirus situation, the travel plan for our Chinese delegation has been cancelled and going forward, none of our Chinese team members will be travelling to India for the Auto Expo. Some of our management team has already been in India for a while. They did not go back to China. Hence, we didn’t face any difficulties with respect to the advisory issued by Health Ministry. This is an unprecedented situation and we are taking all the requisite measures,” said a Great Wall spokesperson in response to a query by Autocar India.
Having made its way past an unprecedented industry slowdown and having avoided being delayed by an entire year, Auto Expo 2020 is almost upon us. But with less than a week to go for the first day of the show, a new (and quite serious) challenge has emerged in the form of concerns over the deadly Coronavirus that originated in China, which has already claimed over 130 lives.
This year’s Expo is set to feature at least three prominent names from China – Great Wall Motors (GWM), Chinese state-owned First Automobile Works’ Haima Automobile, and commercial vehicle manufacturer Build Your Dreams (BYD). Senior executives from all companies are expected to fly in for the biennial motor show, but with the number of people diagnosed with the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) in China increasing every day, the threat has raised concerns as the motor show is set to feature heavy Chinese presence.
The nCoV epidemic, which broke out in Wuhan, Hubei Province, has since spread to at least 15 other countries. Originally thought to be a virus passed on by animals to humans, nCoV has also latched on to those who have been in contact with an infected person, and even those who haven’t travelled to China.
India’s Union health ministry issued an advisory on Wednesday, asking citizens to avoid any non-essential travel to China at this time.
Responding to concerns over nCoV stemming from the heavy Chinese presence at this year’s Auto Expo, Rajan Wadhera, President, SIAM, said, “We, as SIAM, have gone through the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health and are taking adequate precautions at the venue of the Auto Expo - The Motor Show”.
There will also be several Chinese participants at the Components Expo, which will be held at Pragati Maidan from February 6-9. Addressing similar concerns for the Components Expo, Vinnie Mehta, director general, Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), said, “As of now, everything is going as is but as an added precaution, we’re going to have added medical facilities at Pragati Maidan. That apart, we will follow government advisory. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued an advisory to the Indian Embassy in China and we will follow that. As on date, there's no concern. So far there is little evidence of significant human-human transfer of the Coronavirus. According to a risk assessment report of the WHO, risk for global pandemic of the Coronavirus is stated to be low.”
Auto Expo 2020 will be held at the India Expo Mart in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh; will open its doors to the public on February 7 and will go on till February 12.
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