The staff of Seattle’s Sakura-Con convention announced on Monday that this year’s event is canceled due to concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus illness and Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan’s announcement on Friday that all permitted events are suspended as of Monday. The convention’s organizers stated that memberships purchased for 2020 will automatically transfer to the 2021 event.
This year’s Sakura-Con was scheduled to be held at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle from April 10-12. The convention was planning to host character designer Hisashi Kagawa, singer Sayuri, rock band Blue Encount, and the staff of the BEASTARS anime.
The first reported cases of COVID-19 were in Wuhan, China in December, and then the disease began to spread in varying rates and intensities across many parts of the globe through incubation in human hosts. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a world health emergency on January 30, and announced on Wednesday that it is classifying the outbreak as a pandemic. As of Monday, the WHO reported that there are 167,511 infected individuals worldwide, including 86,434 outside China. 6,606 individuals have died from the disease, including 3,388 outside China.