Kenya Bans All International Conferences Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Kenya has banned international gatherings in the country for 30 days amid coronavirus outbreak.

"The government has, with immediate effect, banned all meetings, conferences and events of international nature in Kenya," Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said Friday.

At least two international meetings that were scheduled to be held in Nairobi have been postponed due to coronavirus concerns. More than 100,000 people have been infected by the virus and over 3,200 have died of the disease around the world.

Organisers of the third edition of Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Global Gathering, the largest science and innovation gathering in Africa, have put the gathering on hold over health concerns of attendees.

"We have taken the difficult decision to postpone NEF Global Gathering 2020 to a date later this year," Nathalie Munyampenda, Managing Director of the Kigali-based initiative said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The safety and health of delegates and the wider public are our highest concern," Ms Munyampenda said in the statement promising to announce the new date in the next few weeks.

The 2020 edition of the biennial global event was scheduled to be held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) from March 10 to 13 with 2500 delegates from 80 countries around the world in attendance.

Organisers had said the event will be an "important platform" for constructive discussions on how Africa and the rest of the world will leverage innovative pathways for transformation.

Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi were due to attend the event.

Earlier on Tuesday, the leadership of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa consortium cancelled its 15th consortium meeting that was to happen at the Emara Ole Sereni in Nairobi from March 8 to 13 over similar concerns.

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