Services giant Baker Hughes has called off its annual meeting in Florence, Italy amid a surge in cases of the Covid-19 Omicron variant that has strained medical services and disrupted travel worldwide.

The annual event was scheduled to take place between 31 January and 1 February in the Tuscany regional capital, where the US-based company has manufacturing facilities.

The high-profile event draws senior executives from oil and gas companies and technology firms and serves as a showplace for Baker Hughes’ own products.