WEF Cancels Singapore Meeting as Pandemic Haunts Global Event
The World Economic Forum canceled the annual meeting it was planning to hold this August in Singapore, citing “tragic circumstances unfolding across geographies” and an uncertain travel outlook due to the pandemic.
The WEF said its next annual event will take place in the first half of 2022. The location will be determined “based on an assessment of the situation later this summer,” it said on Monday.
The event typically held in the Swiss ski resort of Davos attracts political leaders from around the world, top corporate executives, celebrities and billionaires.
The decision follows a recent surge in Covid-19 cases in Singapore. The Geneva-based organization said the “differing speeds of vaccination rollout and the uncertainty around new variants combine to make it impossible to” hold a meeting on a global scale.
The onset of the pandemic forced the WEF to scupper its plans several times. It finally settled on Singapore, long one of the world’s success stories in containing Covid-19.
Yet an increase in cases has prompted the government to introduce restrictions on activity and tighten border controls. Singapore reported 38 new cases of Covid-19 infection in the community on Sunday, the highest number in more than a year.
“It was a difficult decision,” WEF founder Klaus Schwab was quoted as saying in the statement. “But ultimately the health and safety of everyone concerned is our highest priority.”
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