Facebook Cancels F8 Conference Over Coronavirus Fears

Facebook has announced it will be canceling F8, its annual developer conference, over concerns surrounding the rapidly spreading coronavirus (Covid-19). The conference was not set to take place for three months.

“This was a tough call to make—F8 is an incredibly important event for Facebook and it’s one of our favorite ways to celebrate all of you from around the world—but we need to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees and everyone who helps put F8 on,” Facebook wrote in a statement.

Facebook says it will replace F8 with “a combo of locally hosted events, videos and live-streamed content.”

F8 was originally slated to take place on May 5 and May 6 in San Jose, California.

“Celebrating our global developer community at F8 each year is incredibly important to us at Facebook, but we won’t sacrifice the health and safety of our community to do so,” Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Facebook’s director of developer platforms and programs, said in a statement.

Earlier this month, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was canceled over coronavirus concerns after Sony, Amazon, LG, and more pulled out.

The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.

While a majority of the cases have been detected in China, it has now reached many countries around the world including the United States. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.

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