Spanish health authorities say no reason to cancel Mobile World Congress

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish health officials said on Wednesday there was no reason to cancel the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona over coronavirus fears, despite major companies pulling out of the event.

Alba Verges, the official in charge of health in the regional government, told a news conference, “There’s no reason to cancel any event in Barcelona, like Mobile World Congress.”

National Health Minister Salvador Illa said the government’s goal was protecting people’s health, but that it would take additional measures if necessary.

The assurance came after behind-the-scenes pressure on Spanish authorities to declare that holding the event in Barcelona would pose a public health risk, which could potentially in turn trigger a payout on any event insurance taken out by the organizers.

Reporting by Jessica Jones; Editing by Isla Binnie