Exhibition World Issue 2 — 2020 - Page 21

Cover story SG Clean Government agency Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) are targeting the tourism, food and retail sectors to come on board their SG Clean campaign - a government backed effort to rally businesses and the public to uphold good sanitation standards and hygiene practices. Mr Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “Over the next two months, STB aims to audit and certify 570 hotels, attractions, and other tourism establishments. The SG Clean quality mark sends a strong signal to both locals and visitors that our tourism businesses take their cleanliness and hygiene very seriously and are committed to maintaining these high standards as a ‘new normal’ for the future.” To be certified, businesses have to go through a seven- point checklist tailored to the requirements and operations in the various sectors. w w w.exhibitionworld.co.uk Venues transform to fill the hospital gap ajor exhibition centres around the world have been quick to work with governments, the military and local authorities and health services to transform halls into temporary hospitals to alleviate the pressure on existing under pressure facilities as the global effort against Covid-19 intensifies. Among the first large centres to transform themselves into temporary hospitals were Reed’s Messe Wien in Austria. That project got off the mark with 800 beds installed by 15 March, with a total target of 3,111 bed expected to follow quickly. Karachi Expo in Sindh province, Pakistan, is also being transformed into a hospital to deal with coronavirus patients and authorities hope to make 10,000 beds available there thanks in part to a 7.21bn rupee investment authorised by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. Easyfairs moved early to make its venues in Benelux and Sweden available to the authorities free of charge. The venues in question are Flanders Expo (Ghent), Antwerp Expo (Antwerp), Namur Expo (Namur) and Nekkerhall Brussels North (Mechelen) in Belgium, the halls of Hardenberg, Gorinchem and Venray in the Netherlands as well as Kistamässan (Stockholm), Malmömässan (Malmö) and Abymässan (Gothenburg) in Sweden. Eric Everard, CEO and founder of Easyfairs, said: “It seemed obvious that we should be part of the collective effort to combat coronavirus and provide as much relief as possible to those directly affected. “Our exhibition halls can accommodate temporary health centres, welcome and sorting areas for patients, storage areas for medical equipment, etc.” UK Health Minister Matt Hancock announced, 24 March, that ExCeL London, the UK capital’s largest convention centre, would be turned into a 4,000 bed ‘Nightingale’ hospital with two wards each of 2,000 beds. Jeremy Rees, CEO, ExCeL London said: “We are proud to be able to accommodate the increasing demand for hospital beds and will work with the NHS to facilitate this request. The team at ExCeL London will ensure that we work with the government and relevant authorities to support their efforts in seeing the British people and the UK through this unprecedented crisis.” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo toured the 167,000sqm Javits Center in New York, as it prepared to be transformed into a coronavirus medical complex. Good news in Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus outbreak started, has shuttered its hospital temporarily located in the city’s biggest exhibition centre. The Berlin authorities are setting up a provisional hospital with up to 1,000 beds on the exhibition site under the Funkturm (radio tower) in the German capital. The facility in one of the exhibition halls, said Dilek Kalayci, Senator for Heath, Care and Equality in the Berlin Senate. While IFEMA Madrid opened the largest temporary hospital in Europe, hoping to fit 5,500 beds inside its exhibition halls. Iran’s IIEC is also converting into a hospital. “Many of our members are supporting the emergency response to the crisis in their respective cities, building temporary shelters and installing beds in case local hospitals are unable to cope with demand. It is always humbling to see how our industry comes together in difficult times”, commented UFI MD and CEO Kai Hattendorf. Issue 2 2020 21