The Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) has announced that Heart Failure 2020 & the World Congress on Acute Heart Failure, scheduled to take place over 23–26 May in Barcelona, Spain, has been cancelled.
In a statement, ESC Heart Failure Association president Petar Seferović (Belgrade, Serbia) said that the decision had been taken in light of the ongoing global effort to tackle the spread of COVID-19.
“The leadership of the ESC and the HFA have been closely following the current health crisis,” Seferović said. “The spread of COVID-19 around the world and the necessity for healthcare professionals to deal with the epidemic in their hospitals has impacted the availability of both faculty and delegates. Indeed, many have already cancelled their plans to attend – and that number will only grow. In addition, the Spanish authorities have declared a state of emergency while the Catalan government has imposed a total lockdown and severe travel bans.
“As a result of these factors and our responsibility to protect the health of our faculty, delegates and staff, the HFA leadership has decided that cancelling Heart Failure 2020 is the only responsible course of action.”
Seferović added: “On behalf of the HFA board, we convey our heartfelt wishes to you, your families and your patients in these difficult times.”
As a consequence of the cancellation, the next HFA General Assembly will be held at ESC Congress 2020 (29 August-2 September, Amsterdam, the Netherlands), and results of the HFA election have also been pushed back to this date. The Heart Failure Certification exam, which was scheduled to take place during the congress, has been cancelled.