Medicopolitical

TSANZ annual conference postponed


The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) has announced the postponement of its 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting – TSANZSRS 2020 – that was  scheduled to take place in Melbourne from 27 March, citing the travel restrictions and risks of infection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a TSANZ statement posted on Thursday 12 March, President Professor Bruce Thompson said it had made the difficult decision as rapidly changing events made hosting the 2020 ASM untenable.

“Unfortunately, events of recent days have made it impossible for us to host the ASM as planned. Travel restrictions have meant that we can no longer offer a cohesive program. Furthermore, whilst we did have mitigation strategies in place to reduce the risk of infection, we were compelled to put the safety of our delegates and their patients first – at a time when health resources are being stretched,” it said of the meeting it was to hold in conjunction with the Australian and New Zealand Society of Respiratory Science (ANZSRS).

“Our members are on the front line of dealing with COVID-19 and it is our duty to ensure you are present and able to respond to the challenges we are facing as a community. With so many of our members contributing their time, energy and academic expertise to the ASM we have sought to honour those commitments.”

The Boards of TSANZ and ANZSRS opted to postpone the Melbourne ASM until April 2021, with the meeting still to be held in Melbourne.

The cancellation means that all 2020 ASM postgraduate courses and associated meetings have been cancelled, with registration fees rolled across to 2021 unless attendees request a refund by 30th April 2020.

Other respiratory meetings have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19,  including the 15th Meeting of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group due to be held in Brisbane later this month has been postponed to March 2021.

Overseas, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) announced on March 8 that it will cancel its 2020 Annual Meeting scheduled for March 13-16 in Philadelphia.

But the American Thoracic Society (ATS) is continuing with its plans for the ATS 2020 Conference in May.

A statement on the ATS website dated March 6 said no organisations in the city of Philadelphia have yet cancelled or postponed conferences.

The limbic is unaware of any update on the situation for the ERS Congress 2020 scheduled for Vienna in early September.

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