Updated: 12 March 2020 AEDT
International Neurotrauma Society Urgent Announcement- Postponement of Melbourne INTS2020 Meeting
The Local Organising Committee of the Melbourne INTS2020 symposium and the Executive Committee of the International Neurotrauma Society (INTS) have closely monitored COVID-19 developments over the past few days, and how these are increasingly affecting the conference. After much careful consideration, the Executive Committee of the International Neurotrauma Society and the Organising Committee have decided to postpone the Melbourne INTS2020 symposium.
This has been a very difficult decision to make, especially since local conditions in Australia are currently still favourable, and the Organising Committee have done everything possible to safeguard the symposium in a rapidly changing landscape.
The global situation relating to COVID-19 and its impact has changed significantly over the past few days, and likely will continue to do so in the weeks ahead. This is making it very difficult to predict, assess and mitigate any potential risks.
We are seeing an increasing number of international travel bans being implemented by hospitals and Universities in Europe, North America and Asia in attempts to contain and minimise the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. This now significantly impacts the quality of the INTS2020 program and the ability of key international speakers and delegates to meaningfully participate.
The safety and well-being of our neurotrauma community has of course also been very much at the fore of our thinking in coming to this decision.
We understand that this is a disappointment. We want to reassure you that all delegates who are registered for INTS2020 will be automatically re-registered for the postponed symposium, scheduled in Melbourne for 7 – 11 February 2021. Those registered delegates who are unable to attend the rescheduled symposium will be reimbursed their full registration fee.
Delegates are urged to contact their travel agent ASAP to take advantage of the flexible change conditions currently offered by many airlines, hence our decision to announce a new date now.
If you are a presenter, sponsor or exhibitor, we will be in contact to discuss options with you.
We remain grateful for the ongoing support that we are receiving from our speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and participants during this difficult time, and appreciate the words of support that have been relayed to members of the Local Organising Committee. Thank you also to all our suppliers, venues, hotels and the Melbourne Convention Bureau for their unwavering support during this time.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact Arinex at firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.
We thank you in advance for your understanding. While we are also very much disappointed that we will be unable to host you in Melbourne at this time, we certainly look forward to INTS2020 in February 2021.
Robert Vink Michael G. Fehlings
INTS2020 Symposium Chair President INTS
Tony Figaji Peter Hutchinson
Past President INTS Treasurer INTS
Updated: 12 March 2020 AEDT
We have been working closely with the Organising Committee, PCO and suppliers over the past 48 hours and can confirm that yesterday we agreed to postpone the meeting, in light of the increasing circumstances. An official notice will be sent to all later today with further details as we work with the venue to make new arrangements for future dates, including transferring all current bookings to future dates. All attendees will be given the opportunity to review their attendance and make adjustments and cancellations once the notice is sent.
Updated: 9 March 2020 AEDT
After carefully considering updated advice from the Australian Federal Government, the INTS2020 Committee wishes to advise that the organisation of the INTS2020 Symposium will currently continue as planned.
The Local Organising Committee, in consultation with the Professional Conference Organiser, Arinex, local authorities in Australia, and the INTS Board, is monitoring the situation on a daily basis. We will take all health measures necessary to contribute to the success of a safe Symposium.
While it is true that delegates from mainland China, Iran, Italy and South Korea are currently either banned from traveling to Australia or will be undergoing high-level screening upon arrival, there is no such restriction for people travelling from elsewhere at this stage.
For those registered delegates unable to attend, we are currently working on implementing a solution to deliver a hybrid Symposium via webinar options for remote viewing of all sessions. We are very grateful for the ongoing support of our speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and participants who continue to register and plan to attend the Symposium, and we are working very closely with our international faculty to deliver an outstanding and informative program.
Mindful of our duty as organisers, we are carefully monitoring what the appropriate sanitary, health and other measures should be. We can assure you that all appropriate measures as recommended by the WHO will be in place at INTS2020. We will also encourage that INTS2020 is a handshake/hug/kiss-free meeting.
COVID-19 Preparedness and Frequently Asked Questions are mentioned hereunder.
We look forward to welcoming you to INTS2020 in Melbourne.
On behalf of the Local Organising Committee
Frequently Asked Questions for Attendees
What are the general health recommendations during INTS2020 as a result of the novel coronavirus?
The following guidelines are set out by the WHO and the Australian Government:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough;
- If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.
What steps is INTS2020 taking to help build confidence among participants?
- Hand sanitizer stations will be available at key points throughout the convention centre particularly in high-trafficked areas. We encourage all attendees to stay informed on the basic protective measures the public can take, such as the ones listed by the WHO.
- This year, our meeting will be handshake free to minimize the potential transmission of any illness.
- We will ensure that medical care is readily available to address immediate healthcare concerns of attendees.
- We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to follow health and safety guidelines as advised by appropriate and relevant authorities.
- The MCEC has activated its incident response team who are meeting regularly and monitoring the situation, and we will be guided by them whilst onsite at INTS2020.
Does INTS2020 have recommended travel and health safety tips for me to consider prior to arriving in Melbourne?
What are the first signs of infection of coronavirus?
Symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, nausea/vomiting, and difficulty breathing. Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention. It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show after a person has been infected.
What if I have concerns about recent development of symptoms on-site?
Our central point of contact will be at the registration desk, which is always staffed during the meeting hours.
What happens if a positive diagnosis occurs at the event or venue?
If an attendee is diagnosed at the venue, we will work with the relevant authorities to ensure an informed, safe and calm response is issued to all attendees, and appropriate measures carried out.
Where can I find more information?