Samsung takes precautions for coronavirus at Unpacked 2020
The smartphone giant is monitoring people and offering face masks.
Shara TibkenFormer managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
The company is offering face masks and hand sanitizer to attendees and has posted signage to recommend that people wash hands and take other steps to protect themselves. The company also said it's using thermal imaging cameras at the entrance to the event, held Tuesday at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, to detect fevers or people who could be ill.
"In an effort to protect the health and well-being of attendees, anyone who displays unusual or extreme respiratory symptoms will be asked to consult with a medical supervisor onsite," the company said ahead of Unpacked.
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The event comes amid worries about coronavirus. Over the past week, company after company has pulled out of MWC 2020, the world's largest mobile trade show, and numerous others have said they'll alter their plans over concerns about the deadly virus. That'll include taking measures like quarantining Chinese executives for the two weeks leading up to the MWC conference.
As of Friday, Samsung still planned to have a booth and presence at Mobile World Congress, people familiar with Samsung's plans said, but we could see a halt to the important dealmaking between executives that often takes place behind the scenes at an event that attracts 100,000 people. The entire MWC conference is now in doubt as big names like AT&T have said they'll no longer attend.
The outbreak of the disease has had ripple effects across the globe and illustrates how connected the tech world has become. Chinese companies are some of the world's biggest makers of mobile devices, and they're also key parts of the supply chain, manufacturing components and assembling devices for customers across the globe. The worries about the
have resulted in shuttered factories and the quarantine of the 11 million people living in Wuhan. Numerous technology companies have closed their stores and offices in the country and have implemented travel restrictions.
MWC brings together companies from across the globe, with many using the trade show as the place to introduce their newest
. This year is expected to feature new 5G phones from nearly every major Android vendor, as well as news about the networks running the new super-fast connectivity. But the coronavirus threatens to curtail the trade show.
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