It was only a week ago when San Francisco declared a state of emergency over fears of the international COVID-19 outbreak. While there were no reported cases at that time, mayor London Breed assured the public that the move was to allow emergency services to quickly respond to reports of possible infections. With several annual conferences and events already cancelled or postponed due to the Wuhan coronavirus health risk, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced that Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2020 will continue.

What makes this decision alarming for many is the fact that Los Angeles also declared a state of emergency for the same reason as San Francisco. GameSpot confirms that this was made recently by city officials in the wake of new 2019 nCov cases reported. Meanwhile, the organisers allegedly issued a statement that reaffirms their decision to push through with the gaming expo in June.

The ESA statement reads: "the health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors, partners, and staff is our top priority. While the ESA continues to plan for a safe and successful E3 show June 9-11, 2020--we are monitoring and evaluating the situation daily." A separate statement also urged attendees to wash hands for 20 seconds, minimise skin contact, and keep away from others who appear to be sick.

Last month, Samsung successfully launched its new product lineup for 2020 at its Unpacked event, which was held in San Francisco, California. Although many invited chose not to attend, others claim the company had several safety precautions in place. Unfortunately, MWC 2020, which was slated to follow few weeks after was cancelled as most of its high-profile exhibitors withdrew from the event.

Asian markets up
The coronavirus has hammered economic activity across China and in other parts of the world, fuelling concerns about the outlook for the global economy. Photo: AFP / STR

Some of the detailed action plans for E3 2020 include frequent disinfection of surfaces by the cleaning staff, more hand-sanitising stations, and the venue will have facilities prepared to handle the situation if one does happen. Microsoft and Nintendo are the only big names that will be participating after Sony confirmed earlier this year that it will not attend for the second year in a row. A related report said that regular host Geoff Keighley will also skip it.