POA receives IOC guidelines for sports federations, athletes, organizers

LAHORE, May 14 (APP)::The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has received comprehensive guidelines from the International Olympic Committee for the event organisers, athletes and National Sports Federations related to the steps to return to training and event preparations.
This can help ensure that any guidelines reflect international standards and the best practice can be shared among stakeholders, Muhammad Khalid Mahmood, secretary, POA, said here on Thursday.
The letter has been jointly written by the IOC NOC Relations and Olympic Solidarity Director James McLeod and Medical and Scientific Director IOC Richard Budgett and the guidelines are based on WHO Risk Assessment for Sport Events and Considerations for sports federations/sports event organisers when planning mass gatherings in the context of COVID-19.
The guidelines provide a COVID-19 risk assessment and mitigation checklist for use by host countries and mass gathering organisers.
It also includes an operational tool which offers guidance for organisers holding meetings during the COVID-19 outbbreak.
According to the letter, WHO’s view is that all countries with community transmission should seriously consider postponing or reducing mass gatherings that bring people together and have the potential to amplify disease and support the recommended best practice of physical distancing. Any decision will be supported through the use of WHO tools, in particular the Risk Assessment for Mass Gatherings during COVID-19.
The letter further stated that If movement restrictions and further national measures have been established in the country, the WHO risk assessment does not apply. However, when the process of re- opening/conducting mass gatherings is being considered post movement restrictions, it will be key to ensure any decisions are based on a risk assessment, such as the WHO mass gatherings COVID-19 risk assessment.
The IOC, and in particular the Medical and Scientific Department, would be very happy to support you in the development of any guidelines, following a number of discussions and guideline review with both NOCs and also IFs. This can help ensure that any guidelines reflect international standards and best practices can be shared among stakeholders, which is very important in providing clear and appropriate information to National Federations and athletes.
The letter stated In this regard we are also currently aggregating a reference library of guidelines on Athlete365, including those of the WHO, NOCs and IFs. This will be available and communicated to all NOCs, athletes and IFs shortly and will be available through NOCnet.
The IOC Medical and Scientific Department is also currently creating an additional dedicated section of the IOC website to collate scientific papers and articles on COVID-19 and sport. This web page will act as a credible clinical and scientific source for medical teams involved in athlete care.
“We greatly appreciate your attention to the WHO guidelines as a reference and look forward to supporting you in any guidelines you may be planning to create. Please pass on to us any documentation which you have produced and also let us know of your plans to produce any such document so we can provide maximum support to you.Thank you for your ongoing partnership during this challenging time,” the letter added.