Coronavirus takes out physical Google Cloud Next and Adobe Summit conferences

It's 2020, the year of the digital conference.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Another pair of conferences have taken the decision to move to being only online events, with Google Cloud Next and Adobe Summit becoming the latest to join the conference cancellation list.

Due to be held in Las Vegas on March 29 to April 2, Adobe said on Tuesday it was switching Summit to online.

"While we are disappointed that we will not be together in-person with our community this year, we are excited to host Adobe Summit as an online experience," the company said.

For its part, Google claimed it was "transforming" its conference into an online event.

"Due to the growing concern around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in alignment with the best practices laid out by the CDC, WHO and other relevant entities, Google Cloud has decided to reimagine Google Cloud Next '20, which will still take place from April 6-8," the search giant said.

"We are transforming the event into Google Cloud Next '20: Digital Connect, a free, global, digital-first, multi-day event connecting our attendees to Next '20 content and each other through streamed keynotes, breakout sessions, interactive learning and digital "ask an expert" sessions with Google teams."

Earlier in the day, Microsoft cancelled its annual Most Valuable Professional Summit, with it too turning into an online event. The MVP Summit was due to be held from March 15 to 20 in Bellevue and Redmond, Washington. The state has seen six fatalities due to the virus.

Nvidia also took the decision to turn its GTC conference into an online event. In this case, the conference was meant to be held in San Jose from March 22 to 26.

See also: How to track the coronavirus: Dashboard delivers real-time view of the deadly virus 

Speaking to the ABC on Tuesday morning, Australian attorney-general Christian Porter said the country could use its biosecurity control order to keep people with coronavirus in quarantine.

"You can have a situation where there can be orders that would ban or restrict certain behaviour or practices or require certain behaviour or practices, orders that could require records to be kept. There could be the declaration of what are called Human Health Response Zones and that could mean that there are specific requirements for screening measures for people going in and out of such a zone," Porter said.

"So for instance, in a peak presentation period, it would be likely that you'd have things that are called fever clinics which are designed to help people recover from the acute fever that comes with coronavirus and people entering and leaving those zones could be subject to requirements that are compulsive."

Porter said it was unlikely Australians would have seen these measures before, which could see order passed to prevent people from entering shopping centres and sporting events.

"They're very important laws. They will be in some instances strange and foreign to many Australians but they will become very important I would suspect over the next couple of months," he said.

"These things are always done on medical advice with more than one very senior person with medical expertise, authority and responsibility trying to determine what is the best thing to occur."

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