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MARCH 24, 2020 -- The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography & Interventions (SCAI) has canceled its 2020 Scientific Sessions scheduled for May 13-16 in Atlanta and closed its offices in Washington, DC, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In making the announcement, SCAI president Ehtisham Mahmud, MD, professor and division chief, cardiovascular medicine, University of California, San Diego, expressed solidarity with those working on the frontlines.
"Physicians, nurses, and allied healthcare professionals in the emergency departments, intensive care units, and inpatient wards are dealing directly with the sickest patients and are, in turn, greatly exposed," he said yesterday in a statement. "We in the interventional and invasive cardiology world are immensely grateful for their efforts and are here to offer support and help."
As Washington, DC wrestles with conflicting views on the value of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, Mahmud said they decided to close their office to "reduce the transmission of the coronavirus and to contribute to 'flattening the epidemic curve.' "
SCAI plans to provide virtual content from its annual meeting via an on-demand platform or live broadcast and is offering a full refund for those currently registered for SCAI 2020.
Last week, SCAI launched a COVID-19 Resource Center on its website and has assembled an SCAI Research Taskforce on COVID-19 to investigate the cardiovascular effects of the virus.
EuroPCR 2020, which bills itself as the "world-leading course in interventional cardiovascular medicine" and attracted 11,206 participants to Paris last year, is currently assessing the situation with PCR board members, faculty, and industry partners for its May 19-22 meeting in Paris.
"We are still working on an appropriate course of action and aim at releasing an official statement within the shortest delay possible," an unsigned update on the meeting website said.
"Our sincere thoughts go out to those who are unwell, to those close to them, and to all the healthcare practitioners who are at the forefront in these difficult times. Thank you for your patience and understanding."
Still, the other shoe, albeit well-heeled, appears likely to drop. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is calling for "much more severe confinement rules" than those already in place, as new data show that Paris is now the epicenter of COVID-19, with about one third of the country's 19,856 confirmed cases, Forbes reported earlier today.
Finally, the European Atherosclerosis Society leadership announced EAS 2020 Geneva, which was set to take place May 31 to June 3, is being rescheduled to October 4-7.
The 88th annual Congress will remain in Geneva, Switzerland, and will preserve the current scientific program. Registration is being transferred automatically for those already registered.
"It is most important to us to hold the meeting under circumstances where the safety and well-being of Congress faculty, attendees, supporters, and staff can be assured," EAS leaders said in the announcement.