Taipei book fair postponed due to coronavirus
The Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE), originally scheduled for 4–9 February, has been postponed until 7–12 May as a result of the spreading coronavirus epidemic.
The Ministry of Culture, Taiwan (MCT) said in a statement: ‘Taiwanese publishers have expressed their concerns about the coronavirus affecting readers’ attendance and participation. Publishers have suggested the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan postpone the book fair.’
Publishers associations, exhibitors’ representatives and the Taipei Book Fair Foundation (TBFF) met on 29 January to discuss risk assessments and effectiveness evaluations in light of the epidemic. Following the meeting, the overall consensus was that the fair would not meet expectations if it was to run as scheduled: the number of visitors (usually 500,000) would decline drastically; parents would be unlikely to bring their children into the new children’s hall; and authors and international exhibitors have already started cancelling their book fair schedules due to the virus.
As a result of the meeting, MCT and TBFF is assembling a special team to ensure the rights and interests of all exhibitors and readers at the book fair, and to organise contingency measures for the postponement.
Taiwan has confirmed eight people are infected with coronavirus, while China has already recorded more than 14,000 infections and over 300 deaths since the virus was first identified in December last year.