ICST organization would like to express its deepest concern for all ICST-20 participants who are affected by the current coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China. We want to assure you that the conference will take place, and that we are in touch with the conference venue and the Direção Geral da Saúde (DGC) to provide you with the most up-to-date information about their recommendations regarding disease prevention and treatment.
Unfortunately, it appears that a very large number of participants based in China will be prevented from traveling to the conference. We ask the broader community to step up to help them, presenting their papers for them if possible, or helping with a remote or video presentation, if necessary. Please offer to help our Chinese colleagues.
The DGC has set up a website with valuable information to assist people with concerns about the Coronavirus, including information on transmission, symptoms, prevention, and treatment: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sns24.gov.pt%2Ftema%2Fdoencas-infecciosas%2Fnovo-coronavirus-da-china%2F
The DGC recommends the following steps to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The DGC has provided additional information:
If you are coming from China or have traveled to China in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing to seek medical care right away. Before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room, guests are advised to call ahead (+351 808 24 24 24 or 112) and tell them about recent travel and symptoms. The DGC protocols and will take action accordingly, if the need arises.
The closest emergency rooms or hospitals to the conference venue are:
Hospital Geral de Santo António, Largo do Prof. Abel Salazar, 4099-001 Porto
Centro Hospitalar São João, Alameda Prof. Hernâni Monteiro, 4200-319 Porto
We sincerely hope that this situation resolves itself soon, and that all of you remain healthy. We look forward to seeing you in Porto.
This information is intended only for all authors who are directly affected by the coronavirus outbreak in China, and are unable to travel to the conference. The options presented here are intended to assist those in need of special arrangements. In all other cases, authors are expected to attend the conference and present their work in person.
First of all, we would like to express our sincere sympathy to all authors under quarantine or otherwise unable to travel due to this situation. We would like to assure you that your paper will be published, and we would very much like to enable you to present your work at the conference. Therefore, we have arranged for a selection of options for you.
The best alternative is for you to find a colleague who is able to travel to the conference, and who can present your work for you. However, we realize this may not be an option for some of you. Therefore, we are also offering the following options to those authors in China who are unable to attend the conference:
- You can submit a video of your presentation (oral or spotlight). You will be provided with the name and email of your session chair a week before your presentation, and you should contact them directly to submit.
- If you are scheduled to give a full oral presentation (20 minutes), your session chair can set up a teleconference connection with you during the session so that you can deliver your talk remotely. Again, your session chair will provide the details of how this will be arranged.
- If you have a poster presentation in an evening poster session, please try to arrange with a colleague to have it printed and posted for you. If this is absolutely impossible, ICST can arrange for printing in Porto and have your poster hung on the appropriate session. Unfortunately, there is a €100 charge for this service.
In order for us to plan and alert session chairs about your intentions, we ask that you contact the general chairs Rui Abreu – rui[at]computer.org or João Pascoal Faria – jpf[at]fe.up.pt NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28.
PLEASE NOTE: Even if you present remotely or submit a video: If possible, it would be good to ask a colleague who is attending the conference in Porto to help manage the presentation, and possibly to answer questions or help if the connection is bad. If so, please indicate this in the email to general chairs.
Thank you so much for your help, and we are sincerely sorry if you are unable to join us in Porto. We hope that the alternatives listed above will be of assistance to you.
We want to express our sincere sympathy to all Chinese residents for the current situation resulting from the coronavirus outbreak. Because we are aware that many of you will not be able to travel to the conference now, we would like to gather some information in order to make emergency plans.
We would ask that you contact the general chairs Rui Abreu – rui[at]computer.org or João Pascoal Faria – jpf[at]fe.up.pt NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 to help us with that.
Please note the following policy regarding refunds: At least one author per paper must be registered for the conference. This ensures publication of their paper, and is intended to ensure that all work is presented in person at the conference. In the event that an author does not get their visa approved or faces other travel restrictions due to the Coronavirus, their paper will still be published, as long as one author for that paper remains registered for the conference.
We sincerely appreciate your taking the time to help us with this planning.