The Singapore Book Council, which organises the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC), has decided to postpone the 11th edition of AFCC from 28–31 May to 3–4 October 2020, in view of the evolving COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore and around the world. In response to the situation, AFCC will be scaling down the festival to two days and making parts of the festival digital.

As a prelude to AFCC, the Book Council will also be organising the popular Book Illustrators Gallery (BIG), an exhibition that showcases the best illustrations from Asian picture books from 1–30 June 2020 at the National Library Building.

The world of Singlit glowed from March 7th 2020 to March 15 th 2020 with different events to promote Singaporean literature. Adequate precautions were taken to keep the participants and visitors safe. Kitaab participated in the event aswell.

Of the sixty events planned, thirty five had to be cancelled for the COVID-19 situation. They had workshops, and book sales and most interesting of all what Singlit  is famous for — noir fiction. Here is a description of how the spoken word poet Deborah Emmanuel conducted the event.

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While the world isolates itself with the fear of the corona virus spreading its virulence across the Earth and bringing the human race to a dystopian pause, the Karachi Literary Festival limped into existence with sessions on issues like Kashmir and Jihad.

While reports have it that there are 189 cases of COVID-19 now in Pakistan, at the start the cases had obviously not surfaced. Here is what a report on the festival which commenced from February 28th to March 1, 2020, said: “While the country at large has been fortunate enough not to get affected by the dreaded coronavirus (so far, that is), the 11th edition of the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF), held from Feb 28 to March 1, 2020, was not as lucky. The threat did bite it (ouch!), bringing the number of visitors considerably and visibly down, even though there were enough at various points in time for the organisers to justifiably call it a success.”

 

Pandemics are different from epidemics.

Epidemics are described as “an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population.”

Pandemics have a geographical link.  “The word pandemic comes from Latin and Greek. Pan means all or across—in this case, it means across the globe. Demos means people or population. So pandemic refers to any disease that spreads across to many populations.”

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While the corona virus might sound worse than it actually is, some of the literary events across the world have been postponed to a happier future. The Paris Book Fair, the Leipzig Book Fair and the London Book Fair — all scheduled for this March — have been altogether cancelled. The Taipei Book Fair had  been moved from February to May and the Bologna Book Fair is postponed from March end to May.