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Coronavirus: major thrombosis conference will go virtual

A major meeting of blood doctors will take place virtually after organisers were forced to cancel the event because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 28th Congress of the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) was scheduled to take place in Milan, Italy, from July 11-15, this year.

But the spread of COVID-19, combined with travel restrictions, left organisers with no choice but to cancel the event, which typically attracts more than three-thousand delegates.

However the USA-based medical organisation said it was now committed to organising ‘a virtual meeting to share the latest research and education.’

In a statement ISTH president Claire McLintock said: “We know that many of our members and partners will be disappointed, and we share that sentiment. This was not a decision taken lightly.

“We have never cancelled an ISTH Congress in over 50 years since its inception, including our decision to continue with our ISTH 2011 Congress in Kyoto, Japan, after the devastating tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster. However, this is a unique crisis requiring an unprecedented response.”

She added: “While still months away, we are making this decision to cancel ISTH 2020 now in order to provide clarity, diminish fears and to allow our members, attendees and partners to focus on combating the coronavirus pandemic in their respective communities.”

About the virtual congress she said: “The ISTH 2020 Virtual Congress will offer a rich and robust program online that will focus on the highlights of the already prepared scientific and education program, with tools that will allow attendees to connect and participate.”