Coronavirus outbreak forces European Society of Radiology to postpone annual congress

The European Society of Radiology announced today that it is postponing its 32nd annual congress of radiology due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Originally scheduled to take place March 11-15 in Vienna, the ESR said its European Congress of Radiology will now be postponed to July 15-19. The meeting will remain in Vienna.

After assessing the situation themselves and analyzing recommendations from the World Health Organization and European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the ESR said it was “forced to make this decision,” and noted that the safety, health and well-being of its attendees is “highest priority.”

“Above all, we have analyzed the recommendations from the Austrian health authorities for large-scale events and came to the conclusion that we are not in a position to fulfill their requirements and guarantee a safe congress for our participants and industry partners at this time,” Boris Brkljačić, ESR President, said in a statement published Tuesday.

Last year’s Congress hit new record highs with some 30,259 total participants, according to the ESR’s website. Registration and congress fees for this year's event and online services remain open for the newly scheduled date, the ESR said.

The epidemic that started in mainland China has recently spread across Europe, particularly impacting central Italy, which now reports more than 2,000 confirmed cases. Nearby Austria has also been impacted, with 21 confirmed cases as of Tuesday, Mar. 3.

Radiologists on the front-lines of this epidemic are using computed tomography to diagnose this virus. And recently experts have said that the modality should be the “primary” tool to diagnose COVID-19.