As the situation around the current Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak is constantly evolving and is impacting many communities, we all need to be aware that it is everyone’s responsibility to help minimise the spread of the virus through containment. In order to achieve that goal, we must all keep ourselves updated on the latest advice, both from the World Health Organization (WHO) and our own national or local authorities.
You will have seen the FEI Sports Forum news last week that we have cancelled the in-person event and will be hosting the time-sensitive sessions online. For anyone else in our community that is planning on organising a major event, it is crucial that you conduct a full risk assessment, together with the local authorities in your country.
We recommend that organisers check the WHO’s latest guidelines offering key planning recommendations for mass gatherings in the context of the current Covid-19 outbreak (click here), which outlines risk assessment, key planning, operational and post-event considerations for organisers during the current outbreak. This document should be read in conjunction with the WHO’s Public Health for Mass Gatherings: Key Considerations, which provides general advice on the public health aspects of mass gathering events.
The FEI continues to follow the situation regarding Covid-19 very closely and, specifically for Tokyo, we are maintaining regular contact with the IOC, the IPC and the Tokyo Organising Committee. The IOC and IPC are collaborating directly with the WHO and IOC Medical and Scientific Commission Games Group public health experts, as well as the relevant sport and government authorities and, to this end, a joint task force was created in mid-February, involving the IOC, Tokyo 2020, the host city of Tokyo, the government of Japan and the WHO.
The IOC has advised us that countermeasures against infectious diseases constitute an important part of Tokyo 2020’s plans to host a safe and secure Games. Tokyo 2020 is continuing to collaborate with all relevant organisations which carefully monitor any incidence of infectious diseases and, together with them, will review any countermeasures that may be necessary.
The IOC Executive Board met in Lausanne (SUI) on 3 and 4 March and confirmed its full commitment to the success of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, encouraging all athletes to continue with their preparations for the Games. The IOC has published an athlete-focused Q&A on Covid-19 on its Athlete 365 hub, plus additional information: Coronavirus Outbreak Advice for Athletes.
The WHO has also published a comprehensive Q&A document as well as guidelines for the workplace on simple ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and what to do if someone in your workplace contracts the virus.