Australia could pull out of the World Athletics Indoor Championships in China over concerns about coronavirus
- Australia could pull out of the indoor championship as coronavirus fears grow
- Advice released on Tuesday warned Australians to reconsider travel to China
- Deadly virus already infected 4,500 people across 16 countries and killed 106
- Athletics Australia said they are waiting for World Health Organisation advice
Australia could be forced to pull out of the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China as fears grow about the scale of the coronavirus outbreak.
Travel advice released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Tuesday warned Australians to reconsider travel to China and avoid Hubei province – the epicentre of the deadly virus – altogether.
With the virus having already left 4,500 people infected in 16 countries and 106 dead, Athletics Australia said they were waiting on advice from the World Health Organisation as to whether to send athletes to the tournament.
Australian long jump star Brooke Stratton after winning silver in the women’s long jump at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Australia could pull out of the World Indoor Championships in China in March over fears surrounding the coronavirus outbreak
‘Everything is still going ahead for now but until we know more from the WHO no decision has been made,’ Athletics Australia spokesman Rob Cumbrae-Stewart told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Whatever decision comes out from them as a recommendation we will follow.’
World Athletics are expected to make a call on whether to proceed in consultation with the World Health Organisation in the next two weeks.
In addressing the doubts around the championships, a World Athletics spokesperson said: ‘World Athletics is monitoring this situation carefully and is in close contact with the World Health Organisation.
‘Should any of their advice affect plans for the World Indoor Championships Nanjing 2020, we will notify all our stakeholders promptly.’
The Asian Athletics Association confirmed on Sunday it would be cancelling its Indoor Championships, which were scheduled to be held next month in Hangzhou, 350 miles from Wuhan.
The coronavirus was first detected in the city in inland eastern China in early December and has since spread around world.
World Athletics are expected to make a call on whether to proceed in consultation with the World Health Organisation in the next two weeks (Nanjing Youth Olympics Sports Park pictured during the 2019 basketball FIBA World Cup in September)
Medical staff are seen wearing protective clothing outside a community health station in Wuhan on Sunday after the coronavirus outbreak
There are five confirmed cases in Australia – all of whom had visited Wuhan recently.
On Tuesday it was confirmed Australian scientists have developed the coronavirus in a lab, a major step towards finding a vaccine.
After days of painstaking work, experts at Melbourne’s Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity have grown the virus from a patient sample.
The scientists will now share the virus with the World Health Organisation, which will distribute it to labs around the world amid hopes a vaccine can be developed in two months.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THE CORONAVIRUS?
Once someone has caught the virus it may take between two and 14 days for them to show any symptoms.
If and when they do, typical signs include:
- a runny nose
- a cough
- sore throat
- fever (high temperature)
The vast majority of patients – at least 97 per cent, based on available data – will recover from these without any issues or medical help.
In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia.
Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people.