World Sailing may just have been blindsided by the rapidly changing Coronavirus situation in Italy.
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) teetering on being declared a pandemic*, the British health secretary has added Italy to the list of regions which people returning from are advised to, “self-isolate” for 14 days even if they do not show potential symptoms.
Just two weeks ago the Women’s 49er Skiff and Mixed Multihull Asian Continental Qualification Events were moved to the Hempel World Cup Series event in Genoa, northern Italy, taking place from the 12-19 April 2020.
The World health Organisation has warned of a “deeply concerning” rise in cases in several nations. In Italy cases have reached 229 with ten deaths, and eleven towns in northern Italy have been quarantined since last Friday.
With the self-quarantine restrictions being applied to Italy and possibly to other European countries, competitors are unlikely to want to visit/compete in those areas ahead of the Tokyo Games.
Anyone returning from China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau, and now Italy, is advised to self-quarantine and contact NHS 111 if they showed symptoms.
Just this week World Sailing issued a statement that they intended to continue to hold the World Cup Series Final in Japan in June.
How does this compare with ‘normal’ seasonal influenza (flu)?
In the U.S. alone, the flu has already caused an estimated 26 million illnesses, 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On average, about 8% of the U.S. population gets sick with the flu each season.
*A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease.