NOC recommendations to the sports community regarding prevention of Covid-19

Joint statement by Estonian Olympic Committee and Estonian Sports Medicine Foundation.

Dear Estonian sports community, 

The Government of Estonia issued today national recommendations regarding prevention of Covid-19. These recommendations directly also concern the sports community. We have to keep in mind that in a democratic society, government’s recommendations hold far more meaning than merely recommendations. 

The doctors of International Olympic Committee, the best in the world, estimate that Covid-19 virus is no more dangerous to athletes than a common cold. Still, it is important for athletes to avoid illness. However, we also have to keep in mind the bigger aim – to prevent spread of the virus. Covid-19 can be very dangerous to the elderly as well as to people suffering from chronic conditions. 

Estonian Olympic Committee and Estonian Sports Medicine Foundation invite athletes, sports organisations and everyone involved in sports to follow these recommendations: 

  1. Be vigilant about strict hygiene.
  2. Seriously consider the urgency and neccessity of international travel as well as of organizing competitions and meetings in Estonia.
  3. Postpone organizing and participating in competitions and other public events for at least two months, regardless of the number of participants and location.
  4. When travelling, follow behaviour and travel recommendations issued and updated constantly by the WHO at their website. Also follow restrictions issued by local governments wherever you are located.
  5. If any symptoms occur (fever, coughing, runny nose etc), isolate yourself immediately – remain in your place of residence without exiting, do not attend training sessions or competitions and limit contacts with all people. Also contact the medical personnel wherever you are located – withing Estonia, contact your GP, Estonian Health Board, the GP advisory line 1220 or call Estonian corona virus crisis number 1247 (to be opened on March 16 the latest). 

Postponing travel and competition is a new and unusual situation for us all but we have to be conscious of our responsibility as the sports sector. The health of athletes, their close ones and all people who participate in sport in some way is very important to us. This is a force majore situation and the contribution of all of us and each one of us is important, whether it is a missed competition or cancelleling an event. People’s health outweighs all else. 

Signed by:

Urmas Sõõrumaa, President of Estonian Olympic Committee
Dr. Mihkel Mardna, Board member of Estonian Sports Medicine Foundation and doctor of Estonian Olympic delegation