FINA has announced that it’s established a COVID-19 taskforce in a press release on Tuesday, bringing together medical experts to monitor the spread of the virus and consider its consequences on upcoming FINA events.
“Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, FINA has been working hard to make sure our athletes, officials and fans are protected as much as possible,” said FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione. “All those who love Aquatics are looking forward to the competitions of Tokyo 2020.
“FINA is being proactive to secure the Olympic Qualifying System for our disciplines and to ensure our athletes benefit from both sporting opportunity and health protection. FINA’s long-standing focus on health means we can call on many widely-recognised experts in the medical field. We are very grateful for their time and their insights.”
In addition to analyzing the spread of the virus and forecasting its impact on FINA events, the taskforce will also be responsible for recommending protective measures, informing FINA Member Federations on common public health strategies that will minimize spread, and coordinating with the IOC Medical Commission.
While FINA does not anticipate changes to the overall Olympic qualifying systems that are currently in place, we have already seen certain meets with Olympic implications impacted. Italy’s Olympic Trials have been cancelled, and the entire nation is now on lockdown.
USA Swimming has also given an update on the situation, indicating that it will continue to work with and follow the guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), listing off some of the preventative measures that the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have published.
Per coronatracker.com, there have been over 116,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, with just over 4,000 dead — the majority coming from China. The United States has 755 confirmed cases and 27 deaths.