[email protected] Million Live Cruise & Sony, Facebook's GDC Attendance Canceled Due to COVID-19 Coronavirus Concerns
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Bandai Namco Entertainment announced on The [email protected] franchise's official website on Friday that The [email protected] Million Live! One Night Cruise Welcome!! Aboard tour has been canceled to ensure the health and safety of those who would have participated. The website cited the confirmation of cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease within Japan, and the uncertainty regarding how the virus spreads. The cruise event would have run aboard the Pacific Venus ocean liner from Yokohama overnight from February 29 to March 1, but the organizers are offering ticket refunds instead.
Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) and Facebook Gaming stated to games news website gameindustry.biz on Thursday that they will no longer attend this year's Game Developer's Conference (GDC) due to concerns about the global COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
Facebook added that it will still make announcements regarding its Oculus brand online around the time of GDC.
GDC will take place in San Francisco from March 16 to 20.
SIE has already previously canceled its attendance at the PAX East event in Boston due to the same concerns. That event is scheduled for February 27 to March 1.
Additionally, the Sanrio Puroland theme park in Tokyo announced on Friday that it "will temporarily close" from February 22 to March 12 "to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in Japan and overseas." The theme park's website stated that the closure is "in consideration of the safety of our customers and employees."
The first reported cases of the COVD-19 coronavirus occurred in Wuhan, China in December, and then began to spread in varying rates and intensities across many parts of the globe through incubation in human hosts. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a world health emergency on January 30. As of Thursday, the WHO reported that there are 75,748 infected individuals worldwide, with 74,675 of them in China and 85 official cases in Japan proper. (The Diamond Princess, a cruise ship docked in Yokohama, has an additional 621 infected individuals.) 2,121 individuals have died from the disease in China. The WHO had reported only one death in Japan on Wednesday, but as of Thursday morning, two individuals who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship have died in Japanese hospitals, bringing the total to three.
The WHO reports 15 confirmed cases in the United States, with no deaths.
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