In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, Taichung City Government upgraded the emergency operations center to level 1 today (2/28) and implemented the advanced deployment policy to step up outbreak prevention efforts. Furthermore, the World Orchid Conference (WOC) 2020 originally scheduled for 3/9-18 will be postponed in consideration of the outbreak situation. The city government has already obtained approval from the World Orchid Conference Committee (WOCC) to postpone the WOC, and relevant measures are being devised to minimize losses.
According to the Agriculture Bureau, WOC 2020 has undergone extensive preparation and although adequate measures have been implemented to ensure the safety of the exhibition during the COVID-19 outbreak, in considering people's safety as the top priority, the city government and Taiwan Orchid Growers Association (TOGA) have obtained permission from the WOCC to postpone the event. The exact date of the WOC 2020 will be determined based on the conditions of the outbreak in the future.
The Agriculture Bureau pointed out that the WOC 2020 will be the first time that WOCC has held the event in Taiwan since 1954. After obtaining the right to host the WOC in 2014, the city government and TOGA have spent 3 years preparing for the event, and the expenses incurred during the preparation process will be kept to a minimum by formulating related contingency measures.
The feasibility of reusing some of the park's hardware and decorations in the future is being studied for the sake of reducing the cost of reopening the WOC. The city government has coordinated with the TOGA to use orchids that have already been purchased according to the production and flowering period for public welfare purposes, thereby protecting the rights of flower farmers.
Additionally, the city government has asked the TOGA to calculate the cost or preparations as soon as possible so that the subsequent procedures may be conducted with minimal impact. Full tickets and citizen tickets for the WOC 2020 are NT$250 and NT$100 respectively, all refunds will be processed in accordance with existing regulations.