Google has cancelled its annual I/O developer conference, the company’s most important annual event, due to the unrelenting spread of the coronavirus.
The company has traditionally used the conference to showcase innovations relating to its Android operating system and new hardware upgrades.
This year’s I/O conference (set to take place from May 12 to May 14) was cancelled shortly after another major Google event, Cloud Next, was also terminated.
While Cloud Next will take place as a “digital-first” event, it's not yet clear whether I/O will follow suit. Google says it is exploring other options for the conference.
“Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre,” a Google spokesperson told The Verge.
Companies and individuals that had purchased tickets will receive a full refund by March 13 and will get the opportunity to buy tickets for next year's event.
The coronavirus is believed to have originated in the Chinese province of Wuhan. So far, more than 95,000 have been infected and roughly 3,300 have died.
Latest reports indicate the virus has spread to Europe, with Italy the focal point. There are reported cases in Germany, Austria, Croatia, Spain and the UK.