With over 100 deaths reported due to the outbreak of coronavirus in China over the last fortnight, the biennial auto expo in India that begins on February 7 has been shrouded over concerns of a potential outbreak here.
A clutch of Chinese companies including MG Motor, Great Wall Motors and BYD is participating in this edition. While Chinese firms have participated in the past as well, the presence is significantly higher this time. Around 20 per cent of the 40,000 square meter exhibition area at Greater Noida has been booked by Chinese companies.
With such a large contingent from China, there is fear if the officials travelling from the country maybe infected by the virus. If undetected, the disease may spread here. Already a majority of the 90-odd journalists from China who had registered for the Expo have reportedly backed out of the event. The main organiser Society of Automobile Manufacturers of India has said it will take adequate precautions and is in touch with the ministry of health for guidance.
"Reference to the Coronavirus threat, I want to convey that we as SIAM have gone through the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health and are taking adequate precautions at the venue of the Auto Expo - The Motor Show," said Rajan Wadhera, president, SIAM.
A spokesperson for MG Motor said no official from China would be attending the Expo from their side this year. Great Wall Motors said most of their Chinese delegates were already in India well before the outbreak of the virus in China.