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Corona virus infiltrating military ranks: Qatar cancels major defence conference

The havoc caused by COVID-19 all across the planet has not even spared the military where a major defense trade conference in Qatar was cancelled fearing spread of the killer virus. What is this exhibition all about? and what its cancellation means for the region?

Defence

The Qatari government announced that the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference, or DIMDEX, is now canceled as the region combats the spread of the new coronavirus known as COVID-19.

DIMDEX offers valuable opportunities for exhibitors; presenting a wide range of the latest innovations; hosting the Middle East Naval Commanders Conference; and featuring visiting warships from international navies at Hamad Port.

The Qatar International defence exhibition is among the first major defense trade shows canceled as the virus has shown signs of community spread in the Arabian Gulf region, though several high-profile companies pulled out of the Singapore Airshow due to virus fears.

The March 16-18 Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference was scheduled to take place at the city’s exhibition centre DECC.

DIMDEX 2020 was schedule to present a premier programme that provides the maritime and security community with access to cutting-edge military technology and the opportunity to build and strengthen relations with key stakeholders.

Read more: Visitors from Qatar are no longer welcomed in Egypt

The defence exhibition has witnessed continuous growth to become a leading event in the international maritime defence and security industry calendar. DIMDEX is much more than just an exhibition; the three-day event also features the international strategic Middle East Naval Commanders Conference (MENC), the visit of warships to Doha Commercial Port and elite VIP delegation visits.

The biannual event, hosted by Qatar’s armed forces, in 2018 hosted about 13,000 attendees, according to a news release. The announcement was made on the DIMDEX website.

“Following the cancellation of a number of global events including the Mobile World Conference in Spain, ITB in Germany and the Geneva International Auto Show, the DIMDEX 2020 organising committee has been consulting with public health officials and the Government of the State of Qatar regarding the status of the event,” the announcement read.

“Though the risk to the general public in Qatar remains low, our primary concern remains the health and welfare of all residents and visitors to Qatar and for this reason the event will no longer be held,” it added.

Read more: Coronavirus enters Pakistan, becomes Pandemic: Saudi bars pilgrims

The number of cases of COVID-19 in Qatar stood at three, as of March 5, according to the World Health Organization, but there have been about 1,000 cases in Iran.

In the United Arab Emirates, the WHO has determined that, while the number of cases is just about 20, the virus appears to be spreading in the community.

Bahrain and Kuwait have about 50 cases each, while Iraq has about 20.

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