The Board of Transplant Australia met this week and on the agenda was the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the potential impact it may have on Transplant Australia events, including the Australian Transplant Games due to be held in Launceston in late September this year.
The advice is that at this stage the event is too far away to be able to make a definitive call either way. Therefore the Games is still planned as scheduled. The Board will monitor the development of the COVID-19 Pandemic and its impact in Australia and make a decision by the middle of May. This will allow enough time for us to gain all the relevant and necessary advice so we can confidently stage the Games with your health and wellbeing as our first priority.
Transplant Australia is committed to staging the Games in Launceston. Therefore if the date needs to be altered it will be in the form of a postponement to when it is deemed by authorities as safe to do so.
For the moment we would advise members to consider holding off booking flights or accommodation for September. For anyone who has already paid for flights, our apologies but we need to take the next six weeks to seriously consider everyone’s welfare before locking the Games in.
We will be talking with our State Committee Chairs in the next few days to ascertain what state events are planned in the next two months? It may well be that we need to defer these events until public health authorities provide us with further information giving us confidence that these events can take place safely.
On a personal note for those who have been around long enough you will remember the challenges Transplant Australia faced with the threat of H1N1 Influenza and the World Games on the Gold Coast in 2009. I never thought we would see a repeat of those challenges. I am confident with some common sense and everyone following guidelines around hygiene and safety we will emerge from this difficulty and life will return to normal. Sooner rather than later I hope.
Stay safe please.