Did IBF make the correct decision in postponing the World Championships?

Discussion in 'Rules / Tournament Regulation / Officiating' started by kwun, May 2, 2003.

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Did IBF make the correct decision in postponing the World Championships?

  1. yes. postponing WC was a good decision

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  2. no. WC should have been held as scheduled.

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  1. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    Let me clarify my last point a bit more. Places like China, H.K., Singapore,
    Taiwan are the first victims of this "acute" disease. They'd be the front line in
    this war. Whatever measures they're taking, they're forced into it. I'm sure
    the rest of the world, for one reason or another, would hope that some of these
    measures turn out to be winning formula.

    But while they're experimenting with all these measures, there's no reason to
    risk importing this virus to anywhere else, and repeat the same experiments
    already underway that may eventually prove in vain!
     
  2. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    That perhaps is the right response. It seems at this point, governments around
    the world have mostly leave it up to individual organizations to make individual
    decisions. IBF doesn't control other events like baseball, basketball etc. But
    then again, as someone already mentioned, comparing all these sports, you've
    a heavy concentration of Asians in badminton. Perhaps that explains the differences
    in policy.

    Education would help to some extent... Information dissemination so far in China
    is nothing more than bin counting. Even with all this information, we are still
    debating whether IBF is making the right decision postponing WC :rolleyes:
    Frankly, I don't recall the last time massive quarantine was adopted (it's much like
    the 10-year old movie "Outbeark"). Apparently, this still is not strong enough a
    message for some people.

    This shows that not all medical personnels are created equally. In fact, I watched
    one program (a Chinese one?) that interviewed someone apparently in a position
    of responsibility. He made the point that only a small subset of all doctors and
    nurses are well verse in lung diseases, such as pneumonia. Really, not all "experts"
    are experts.

    When you think you're listening to an expert, question his authority in that
    field first.

    Don't count on it! Anyone rational, or already has that sense of responsibility
    would probably not go out anyway, regardless of any public education.


    Maybe having lived in fear for 5 weeks, you're just too tired now. :) (Sorry Cheung,
    I know this is no laughing matter, but just couldn't resist in this case).

    This just proves the point that the disease is commutable.

    Only if health check is effective (esp. during incubation when no symptoms are shown). Furthermore, if we're on topic, we're talking about IBF's decision. IBF
    cannot control or institute mandatory health check on every travellers to UK for
    badminton (or other reason). It's the job of the UK government. IBF is making a
    decision given the fact not every single move is under its control.
     
  3. wilfredlgf

    wilfredlgf Regular Member

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    Oh well, it will be held at some other time, no worries. This SARS problem will have to end somehow and the world's shuttlers will be marching their way back to the courts.

    I don't believe that it is worth the risk. Postponement is a GOOD idea.

    Then again, SARS or not, we will all still be here in BadmintonForum.com, right? :D
     
  4. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    Questionnaires are just paper work. They really don't work. Think about
    all the stupid questions you were asked when you checked in your luggages at
    the airport.

    You know what the consequence is if you answer "Yes". If you've the conscience,
    you won't be travelling. If you don't, it's unlikely for you to answer "Yes".

    A system that is based on voluntary participation doesn't work well.


    I thought you said "information dissemination" is important. Do you think WHO
    should NOT have issued those advisory alerts?

    If Dr Ho's comments were in light of those economic backdrops, then that
    clearly is a conflict of interest. At the end of the day, it all boils down to
    one's value system. What does one value? If his comments is economically
    or financially motivated, then he might have implicitly put a price tag on people's
    health/life. Furthermore, if one only thinks about the tangible/immediate
    impacts on businesses, what about the financial burdens on health care systems.
    Who's paying the medical bills, insurance payment, social security (if the bread
    winner of a family dies), lost of earning?

    The "experts" are just like the stock analysts. They give stock buy/hold/sell
    recommendations. Some of them really mean business. Other means
    manipulation. You as an individual are still left with the responsibility on who
    to believe/trust. How do you influence ones subjective judgement to help cope
    with this case?

    So new statistics had made SARS comparable in mortality rate to the "known"
    pneumonia. But I still haven't gotten the answer on how preventable that
    "known" pneumonia is.
     
  5. colin

    colin Regular Member

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    Your comment really puzzles me. While I don't know what UK health
    authorities said, didn't WHO (and CDC in US BTW) advises people to avoid
    traveling to SARS infected places? Why do you think they gave such an advice?
    Common sense would seem to suggest to me that travelling in the oppositive
    direction (from SARS infected places to places not affected, yet) should also be
    controlled/restricted.

    No, common sense would suggest that you screen the people who are travelling in the opposite direction before letting them in. Otherwise go for closed international borders and hide under the covers in fear!


    [/B][/QUOTE]

    So you think it's still not justifiable?
    Perhaps the measures that places like H.K. are taking nowaday are already
    enough and effective. But I'd like to see more long term data (from statistical
    sample space standpoint, I want more samples). My view is that, whether
    people today is too paranoid, and whether any of these measures (quarantine,
    surgical masks, washing hands) are actually effective or not, can only be
    judged in hindsight.

    It may be one or two years from now, everyone that survives would all look
    back and laugh at himeself. But if we're complacent today, 1-2 years from
    now, we could all be crying, wondering if we've a second chance to do it right
    again.

    This to me is common sense! [/B][/QUOTE]

    Washing hands and good personal hygiene is not paranoid behaviour, but banning innocent students from continuing their studies certainly is.

    OK, enough of SARS. I’m off to play badminton! :D
     
  6. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    Which countries are you talking about? Outside of Asia, Toronto in Canada is
    another place with serious SARS situation. Ever thought about why Toronto?
    In case you don't know, there's a large population of Asians from H.K. One can
    reasonably expect people there commute back and forth between H.K. and T.O.
    often. And look at the statistics.

    Apparently, not all travelings are the same! The statistics you quoted ought to
    look into which parts of the world those travelings take place. Countries like U.S.
    have already come to senses; company traveling to Asians were restricted and
    postponed, again and again, replacing in person traveling with video conferencing.

    As I said on another post, IBF can only decide whether WC should be run;
    it doesn't run the travel/health inspection organization.
     
  7. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    So which one of you is an expert in pneumonia? Cheung or you? ;) This death
    rate has jumped from originally reported 5% to 15% today in a matter of 1 month.
    I hope this's as high as it'd ever go, but then again, you never know. Furthermore,
    to even begin to comprehend its seriousness, you need to know the rate is
    a conditional probability (i.e. given you get SARS, your chance of survival is 85%).
    But it says nothing about the probability (or controllability) of getting SARS to
    begin with. So how do you contrast the two types of pneumonia?

    Yes, screening should be put in place. But again not all screening methods
    are effective.

    That may well be what would happen if things get out of hands. You never know ;)

    Good for you :)

    Coming back to the topic. So far most governments in the world leave the travel
    decisions or whehter certain events should take place in the hands of individual
    organizations. Screening for SARS/healths or not are not what these organizations
    can control. They'd have to make their best judgement appropriate to their own
    sandboxes.
     
  8. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    What if some day people discovered that SARS can also be transmitted via the
    internet? Just a silly thought :p
     
  9. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    How long do you think it would take to screen all travellers in a busy airport?
    For weapons, and for SARS? Even if there's any means to definitively screen
    passengers, unless the results is instantaneous, we would probably getting
    a rather unmanageable congestion issue.

    So an alternative is to not attract that same magnitue of travellers to begin with.
    Like companies cutting back on travels, IBF canceling major events. This would
    certain ease the airport traveller screening systems, don't you think?

    It is precisely that no one is implementing 100% shut out, that selectively going
    after a specific group of people makes sense. Because this's the most effective
    measure giving biggest bang of a buck, so to speak.
     
  10. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Wrong. Every person gets screened for weapons detection. Nobody complained and it was accepted as something necessary. Health checks should be considered in the same category. How long does it take to fill out a health questionnaire and take a temperature? The same time as it would to fill out a boarding card.

    There are also systems that can detect a raised temperature by just walking through an infrared detector. I don't know the sensitivity of such a method but such machines are now being purchased.

    A temperature taken with an ear probe takes less than one minute to detect and record........Not sure if that can be considered instantaneous.

    every time I've been on an plane, my luggage has an XR, I go through a detector. Everybody gets this check. Why not go after groups with known links to groups which advocate violence? Because you can never tell. Same with an infectious disease, everybody should get a health check. Even if people came from US to Asia, they would get a health check and temperature taken in some countries. I say we should do this for everybody and in addition, daily checks for those participants in the WC.
     
  11. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    We've got to do what we've got to do. Agree on that. I don't know if incidence
    of 911 changes airport security on other parts of the world, but in U.S. (San Frans-
    cisco airport, e.g.) security is definitely tightened. You can observed noticeably
    longer line up. What's my point? Some countries' airport resources may already
    be strained without putting SARS inspection in place.

    On the other hand, if filling out a health questionnaire and taking a temperature
    is effective (even if it may be overly pessimistic, resulting in too many people
    detained) in making sure all SARS carriers are stopped at port of departure, I'm all
    for it. This may well be our new reality in near future.

    The question is: From the moment one has contracted the disease (and presumably
    becomes a carrier) to the time symptoms such as elevated body temperature
    develop, is the person capable of spreading the disease. And if there's such
    incubation period, how are we supposed to identify them.

    Checking body temperature would pick up the obvious cases, but I'm wondering
    about the not so obvious ones. We'd not have any statistics on this just by its
    nature (you can't count them in your sample space as you can't detect them in the
    first place). If you can't count them accurately, how do you propose to evaluate
    the effectiveness of this measure. If this measure turns out to be ineffective, we
    are just fooling ourselves into a false sense of security.

    When I previously said it took some time and express a concern of whether a
    test result is instantaneous, I was thinking about a definitive test (??) that I'm
    vaguely aware of. The test would give result in an hour or two. And I was thinking
    if everyone goes through this test, you'd be able to pick them all up, including
    those who haven't shown any elevated temperature.

    This measure, while maybe effective in screening SARS patients, would further
    strain already limited airport resources. So why not everyone in the world do
    his part to not put any more unnecessary load on the system, at least for
    the moment?? Is WC a life's or business necessity? Why would anyone want to
    insist that?

    Furthermore, once again, we're talking about implementing something that IBF
    has no control over... I felt like I'm a broken record talking to some broken
    records:rolleyes:

    I believed that's something (IR detector?) China has implemented recently (I thing I
    saw them in evening news?). Ironically, WHO recently said that China still couldn't
    explain how half of the SARS cases originated. My point? We're still trying to figure
    things out now. All these quarantine, IR temperature check, questionaires may not
    be as effective as people think.

    Yes, there're basic checks that everybody should be subjected to (like body temper-
    ature check and questionaires, if implemented at all). But once again
    there'd be resource restrictions. Not everyone can be subjected to same extensive
    checking. If however this extensive measure is required, then something would
    probably have to drop. From resource prioritization standpoint, the likely cases
    would be the likely candidates to be picked on. No offence. But people from
    Middle East are now on the black list after 911. I suspect a higher percentage of
    them would be picked on in security checking (racial profiling?).
     
  12. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Kia-su, Kia-si, Kia-sars!!!

    A Minister in Singapore recently quoted the above jokingly and they mean in the Hokkien dialect (Chinese): Fear of Defeat; Fear of Death and of course, Fear of Sars!

    Singapore has been very diligent in combating Sars because our government and the citizens know the dire consequences of allowing Sars to overwhelm us. Not only are lives lost, our casualty rate being 28 todate and this includes prominent doctors who were young and healthy, the adverse impact on economic activities was disastrous. We now have in place a slew of measures and up-to-date facilities to identify those affected by Sars, how to control their activities and movements and to prevent infection to others.

    Surprisingly, if you had visited Singapore during the early stages of the Sars onslaught, you would find very few people wearing masks. These are mostly restricted to care-givers like nurses, doctors and hospital staff even till today. Maybe it was due to ignorance or was it a case of not over-reacting to the situation since the government has been very transparent in disseminating information and educating the public. Also the government has taken swift action to isolate affected Sars victims and the people they came into contact with by issuing quarantine orders and making sure that they do not break such orders. Even so there were a few cases of breaches and such culprits were taken to task. One entire market, the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Market, had to close down and the stallholders had to be quarantined, because of one infected case and this victim has since died. The financial loss to the affected is tremendous and although the market has since reopened, business is about 50% of what it used to be although some financial compensation from the government is forthcoming. Many other businesses are affected, particularly those engaged in the travel and hotel industry. Yes, our people are less fearful of Sars now as they begin to know more about it but they remain vigilent. It was discovered a few days ago that the original Sars has mutated and there are two different strains. Who knows what will become of it later? And despited being taken out of the travel advisory list and the pronouncement by WHO that Singapore has contained the Sars situation here, we are not resting on our laurels. To quote Professor Ong Yong Yau, CEO of Singapore General Hospital, which was the most hit by an entire cluster of Sars cases, "SGH has gone through a period of two incubation cycles without new cases being reported ... but we can never be sure...I am very worried." Even the Prof is cautious!

    I'm very impressed by Raymond's stimulating articulation on this subject and his sound rebuttals.

    I agree with Colin that the University which originally bars students from affected Asian countries is over-reacting and somehow sends a wrong signal to Asian students that it is discriminatory. Prospective students can be selectively screened and examined before they are admitted. But I think the IBF is NOT over-reacting when it decided to postpone the WC, precisely because it does not know much about Sars and the fact that there will be an expected influx of both players and spectators from Sars affected Asia, a point which was well argued by Lazybuddy. As Bbn has shown us the many newsclippings, human behaviour is difficult to predict and all you need is one Sars carrier who managed to escape the screening net to infect the other innocent spectators. Then there won't be joy anymore at the WC!
     
  13. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    I don't think so, You could train the imigration officer to look at the health deceleration. Temperature taking is a very simple procedure. It takes very little training and that person doesn;t have to be a health care professional

    good point. We don't know if a person is infectious or not before they have a raised body temperature. You can't identify them. Just like the situation with HIV infection. Many people with HIV walk around doing normal things. I can't see a difference.

    True. No test is 100% effective. Even patients who turn up to Emergency room get sent home and reattend later (for other illnesses too). This is a fact of life. At least temperature measurement and questionnaires are simple measures, easily performed, cheap, require only a small amount of training. Look at the cost:benefit ratio.

    I doubt any disease in the initial stages has such a test. For example, other viruses, at the inital stages of infection, Hep B, HIV, don't show up positive tests. This expectation is too high for the technology we have at the moment.

    You have to be pragmatic. Would you cut down all airplane flights, sports events because of the risk of terrorism? Cancel the Olympics please, somebody....


    Do you think the health care system is as advanced as in US? Consider also the baseline education level of the population. Some patients may not even understand the questions!!



    Anybody can be a terrorist threat.


    Raymond, sorry if I sound like I disagree with a lot of things. But, the main point is the resource issue. I beleive your emphasis on use of resources can be effectively answered. Terrorist threat uses up a hell of a lot of resources, equipment, maintenance, electric power and personnel. I believe health questionnaires and temp checks are two easily implemented, low cost measures of screening. Chest XR is not 100% diagnostic, CT scan is better but impractical, both of these tests are not practical in screening people who are otherwise asymptomatic.

    For the WC, perhaps players arriving from affected countries are at risk. Therefore, the rationale of implementation of screening for ALL of the delegation of all countries (as I suggested earlier) during the tournament. (Possibly could pick up virus in transit). NOT quarantine. Can a person transmit the virus over a distance of 3 metres? No evidence of that either.

    Forcefully quarantining people without evidence does more harm than good. Would you forcefully quarantine people from countries with a high rate of HIV and force them to undergo a mandatory blood test after the seroconversion period?


    Now, if you said this two months ago, my stance would have been different. I might have said for the WC not to go ahead, but now we have more information.

    If I am not mistaken, smallpox is the only virus that has ever been succesfully eradicated by man....coronavirus is not going to be the next one.
     
    #53 Cheung, May 11, 2003
    Last edited: May 11, 2003
  14. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Re: Kia-su, Kia-si, Kia-sars!!!

    Loh, the professor is absolutely correct. We must be vigilent. But, he didn't say 'sit tight at home on the toilet and live like a prisoner in fear' (or did he?) My interpretation of vigilence means caution but not restriction.

    Many viruses mutate, just like apecies of animals. This is called evolution. (X-men are a different category!!)

    I don't understand your logic with the IBF compared to the University. The University allows students in because the University knows more about the disease than the IBF!! The BAofE took the advice of health authorities - a highly responsible action. The IBF? We don't know if they consulted any other health authorities. We need the minutes of their meeting.

    BTW, WHO is an advisory alert. It doesn't say you must not go to affected countries unless there was a very good reason. You are only advised not to go. There's no reverse policy. Companies who enforce a 10 day quarantine of their employees do so out of their own company policy. Not because the WHO advises so.....
     
  15. Bbn

    Bbn Regular Member

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    Kia -Bo

    -
     

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  16. Bbn

    Bbn Regular Member

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    Hygiene

    See picture from Fist of Fury 1991.

    In Beijing people spit everywhere and in winter spit icicles on the street

    freeze and people are known to slip on them.Now following Singapore Beijing is

    passing a law to fine people for indiscriminate spitting.

    Maybe a law can be passed for coughing and sneezing without covering up.

    What about you, do you spit, cough and sneeze without consideration for others?

    try telling that to the people in say, Msia.
     

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  17. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Just because people do it doesn't mean an effort cannot be made..

    No policy is 100% effective. Health education takes time to permeate through society as with all other types of information.

    What happened in the past doesn't mean it cannot be changed in the future.
     
  18. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    1. All the "check up" could be relatively easily done in UK, and many other nations with good medical services. However, in a lot of 3rd world nations, even their international airport don't have enough staff and equipment to check everyone. Plus, maybe we can put very strict rulez for big airport, but what about seaport? Local bus stations? Local train stations? With the possibility that many fans living in small cities, they might be infected in their local trip prior to the international airport.

    3. I don't think it's right to blame all the ppl living there. Lucky enough, we are not the ones got infected, and we are the lucky ones our governments have better medical services. Many patients in Asia got infected, not because they are not careful, just because the living condition itself. For example, in HK, some patients got SARS because their apartment have central air system. So, if 1 ppl gets it, so are the neighbors. Also, many poor ppl get SARS just because their living condition is soooo poor. If a family (about 5+) ppl have to squeeze to live in a very small room, and all of them work as the minial wage physcial labors, the chance for them to get infected is very large (poor living condition, poor working condition, no $$$ for mask, no $$$ for regular doctor visit, etc).
     
  19. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Since we are only referring to the WC here, we should apply our checking procedures in context of the world championships.

    Well, I bet there are still flights coming in and out of China to Europe. Presumably, if LB, Raymond, Bbn etc are correct, then we should see more severe transmission in another countries. But it's not happening! Put in context of the WC, then the WC doesn't seem to be the high risk that people think it is at.

    Please do not get confused with the issue of country screening its ports and screening at the world championships. Sure LB is correct...so what are you going to do, LB? Best thing to do is to lock yourself up inside and never go outside!

    If you say the players and delegation are SARS risk being potential carriers. Yes, we can do something. Is it effective? yes, partially. Is there any better test of SARS or for that matter other viruses that can give a result in less than 1 hour? NO

    How about the audience? Many coming from overseas? Yes. Many coming from Asia? less so(UK is a long way away). How many potential carriers? Much less. Can they be screened out in less than one hour? NO. Is that any different from any other travellers from these areas? NO....get my drift?

    I suspect a few people on this discussion are engineering disciplines. My impression is that, engineers like hard facts. Not probability. Unfortunately, no test in medicine is so hard fact. There are always errors when dealing with biological systems. That's why we have to use statistics. Even 'gold standard' tests have errors.

    People on this board demand complete answers that fit nicely in to a package. Sorry to tell you that many times in medicine, you don't get that nice package. Medicine and biological systems are not nice things you can manufacture, build, test to tight tolerances. This is reality - all I suggest for the WC are measures to reduce risk(and have psychological benefit).
     
  20. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Really? What test? What test can tell you that doesn't harm people?

    HK,Toronto, S'pore, Vietnam have proven it. These affected places where the first places to be hit without warning. Successful containment. The proactive part has already been done with the increased publicity and exposure to health authorities across the world.


    That just tells me you haven't got enough information. You want more information on what? effectiveness? the proof exists already!! Why would WHO lift their travel advisory alert on some areas?;)
     
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