Picture source: IANS
IANS:Greater Noida: The 15th edition of Asia’s largest automobile show in terms of visitor footfalls, kicked-off here on Wednesday amid coronavirus fears as one in four participants was seen wearing a mask. Although the Chinese presence was minimal at the motor show, people decided to protect themselves. “We are from South Korea and due to the global impact of coronavirus, we do not want to take any chance. Though I wear a mask whenever I travel, this time, we are taking extra precautions,” Jong who works with Hyundai South Korea told IANS. The Auto Expo opened for a select gathering on Wednesday and would formally open to the public from Friday. “This is not normal that so many people are wearing masks at Auto Expo. Though people from China are not seen but Chinese companies are participating so prevention is better than care,” said Dilip Yadav, an executive with First Partners. The show features more than 15 start-ups, telecom, alternative fuel, electric vehicle, and social media firms. “The reason why most of us are seen with the masks are the same. We are aware of the ongoing coronavirus scare. Though stalls of Chinese companies are being manned by their Indian employees/representatives, we still can’t take any chances,” said Gagan Choudhary, Editor of GaadiFy. Once the motor show is thrown open to the public from Friday, one can see more masks around. The 15th edition of the Auto Expo is being jointly organized by ACMA, CII, and SIAM from February 7-12 for the general public, at the India Expo Mart in Greater Noida. The overall confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland had reached 24,324 by the end of Tuesday, the commission said, noting that a total of 490 people had died of the disease. The Indian government has banned all India-bound airlines from boarding any passengers from China and canceled all existing Indian visas to Chinese nationals, in view of the rapid spread of novel coronavirus outbreak.