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

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


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

  1. yes. postponing WC was a good decision

    0 vote(s)
  2. no. WC should have been held as scheduled.

    0 vote(s)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Top Secret
    HIV has been with us for many years. How it's transmitted is well understood.
    although to this day we still have no cure, we know how to cope. Unless you
    need blood transfusion (which should already have been screened by now), share
    needles, have new *** partner(s), your risk is minimal. Again, can we proclaim we
    know how SARS is spread?

    It's one thing that a test is not 100% effective. It's another if the test is completely
    ineffective. In between is a wide range. Sure, the methods (questionaires, and
    temperature checks) are cheap alright. But IMHO they also have questionable
    effectiveness. While I've no objection to this measure, I do question the wisdom
    of relying on them though.

    Well put. You already said it's in the initial stage. So, why not have a bit more
    patience? It's not life imprisonment, is it?

    I believed that's exactly what happened here in U.S. immediately after 9/11.
    Airports were literally shut down, albeit shortly. That's, until counter-measures
    were put in place. Furthermore, traffics were cut down naturally since people
    automatically cancel their non-essential travel plans.

    As for Olympics, well, everything has a price/priority. No kidding. Someone
    might have made a decision for you how much your life is worth. It depends
    on the SARS situation as we get closer to Olympics time. Everything has its
    first time, I'm NOT rejecting the possibility of someone canceling Olympics altogether,
    do you? If this does happen, I believe this would be its first time in history?

    Hmm... You lost me here. Are you talking about the questions on those
    screening questionaires?

    This is just as saying everyone would die some day. Apparently, the insurance
    company has a slightly different idea using Actuarial Science.

    You don't need to apologize. As long as we don't resort to launching personal
    attacks, and just stick with "things", okay? ;)

    But the idea of this screening is flawed... It admits the possibility of infection
    among some individuals. By the time he is screened out (based on development
    of symptoms), countless other may have be infected by him alone.

    To play Devil's Advocate, even if we've definitive diagnostic test, as long as it's
    not instantaneous, we'd have logistic nightmare. A person that gets a negative
    test result may be infected after the test was conducted but before the test was
    published. Hence he'd be free, by mistake.

    Why do you keep coming back to compare with HIV? Can you please establish
    the argument that this is an "apple to apple" comparison?

    What information?

    But SARS doesn't have to be eradicated. Furthermore, is it too early to surrender?
    Common cold is pretty much harmless. That may explain practically no resources
    are put into research a cure for it. Given high enough a profile and financial rewards,
    you could see talent emerges. Is there any intrinsic reason why we can't deal
    with coronavirus? Maybe because of SARS, we end up having vaccine for Common
    Cold also :rolleyes:

    Of course, act/pretend as if nothing has happened is one way to cope. But it seems
    too early to fall hopeless.
  2. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Top Secret
    Re: Re: Kia-su, Kia-si, Kia-sars!!!

    Ever wonder why companies choose to do so, despite the fact that is gonna
    cost them opportunities, hard $$, delivery schedule? Why can't they implement
    daily health check, and send people out as usual, or invite the Chinese/Asian
    customers over instead?
  3. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Top Secret
    We're talking about chances here. As traveling frequency increases, the chance
    SARS is spread would simply increase. If it hasn't happened yet, perhaps it's just
    a question of time. Ever thought about the logic of smokers. Some of these people
    may argue "I've been smoking for some 30 years... or someone has been smoking
    for his whole life, and yet he lived to 80 something... So smoking can't be dangerous"
    What would you be thinking when someone gives you such an argument?

    You and Colin have repeatedly made such comments. I believe perhaps your
    bravery has been misplaced. To be sensible and not attend major gatherings that
    drastically increase your chance of infection at this early stage when not much
    help can offer you, I think it's just wise and be responsible (to yourself, your loved
    ones, and to other people). I'd call it a period of observation/caution. It doesn't
    mean we can't go anywhere at all. You perhaps had made a sweeping
    generalization here - "To not show up in SOME places is equivalent to not show up
    in ALL places".

    Does this sound right?

    You got the first part right. Yes, I'm an engineer (EE) by training and by profession.
    But your 2nd part is off base. Engineers like hard facts. But they also like
    probability. The latter is a technique commonly used in quality control, quantitative
    analysis, and design works. The wireless network your cell phone calls go through,
    the data network you hooked up to, the telephone switch you connected to, all
    have a lot to do with Statistics that we engineers need to use/touch/consider.

    So, Cheung, perhaps I use/think/know more Statistics than you realize ;)

    After hearing your verdicts, as well as that of Colin, I'm becoming somewhat
    concern about the Health Care system in H.K., as well as my own well being here,
    now that I can't escape dealing with some medical doctors in my life ;-)
    #83 raymond, May 16, 2003
    Last edited: May 16, 2003
  4. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Top Secret
    I suspect WHO is under a lot of political pressure not to be the "bad" guy.
    Just look at the reaction from Canada, when WHO gave travel advisory alert
    on Toronto.

    The travel advisory alert is perhaps more like stock analysts recommendation.
    Ever wonder how you can make any $$ with their recommendations? They tell
    you to "strong" buy when the stock has already peaked, and "hold" when the
    stock is heading to bottom. ;)
  5. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Top Secret
    Some references

    What the "Experts" say:
    Psycologists say people tend to hear what they want to hear. The following
    are what I hear. What about you?

    "In a case where you don't understand the true risks, you must take
    maximum measures," David Heymann, head of WHO's communicable
    diseases unit said.

    "We can only sleep well when the whole world is rid of this virus or more
    likely a vaccine is available. That will take years," said Khaw Boon Wan, a
    [Singapore] cabinet minister who is the head of a task force to tackle SARS.

    ''Most of the other travel health risks we deal with are well known,'' notes
    Bradley Connor, incoming president of the travel medical society. ''Yes,
    there are changes and resistance to medications, but these are things
    we're able to keep up with and have a pretty good handle on. Emerging
    infectious diseases, by definition, catch us by surprise. ''It's better to err
    on the side of caution. If we're overreacting and someone cancels a trip
    because of it, that's bad. But it's worse if we didn't act and put someone in harm's
    way of contracting a serious and potentially lethal disease.''

    "...a majority of the IBF Executive Board felt on balance that a postponement
    was the responsible decision. "

    Points to Ponder
    Think about the following:

    Number one on the list
    So far, no one tell me if IBF can enforce the health check at all points of departure
    or even point of entry.

    Done by a doctor, can you believe that ;)
    BEIJING - A doctor with the SARS (news - web sites) virus has been arrested
    for allegedly violating a quarantine and starting an outbreak that infected
    more than 100 people in a northern Chinese city, police said Thursday, in
    the first known arrest for spreading the flu-like disease.

    WASHINGTON - Keeping SARS (news - web sites) from spreading in the
    United States is straining the already besieged public health system, and
    it's partly a matter of luck that this newest killer so far has been contained here.

    Some border Shutting is already happening.
    MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia diagnosed its first case of SARS (news - web sites)
    and took emergency steps to prevent the killer epidemic spilling over from
    China, with a threatened ban on flights and restrictions across the vast land

    What Children Do
    Children always like to do this trick - if there's something they want,
    they'd ask their mom(dad) first. If they don't get what they want, they'd ask
    their dad(mom).
    If WC is the only one that is NOT canceled while ALL other sports are
    canceled, would people ask why WC is NOT canceled? Most likely, they would
    still maintain all these other sport organizations had made a terrible mistake.

    Role of WHO
    It seems WHO may be under a lot of political pressure to give travel advisory
    alert on any city/countries - look at recent objection from Canada. What is
    WHO actually afraid of? Information may not be available to all countires -
    No data or info. to Taiwan as it's not part of U.N.
    "If we could have support from the WHO, we would not lose so many lives
    and we wouldn't need to quarantine so many people."
    Taiwan was ousted from the United Nations (news - web sites) in 1971 and was
    replaced by China.

    Diagnostic Test:
    Developed by Artus in collaboration with the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for
    Tropical Medicine (BNI) in Hamburg, Germany, the test was introduced by Artus
    in April to countries in Asia and Europe and has been provided to laboratories
    under the direction of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other major
    clinical sites conducting studies on the SARS virus. Initial results of different
    sample types (sputum, swabs, stool and tissue) from these WHO laboratories are
    The test is based on a highly sensitive technology known as polymerase chain
    reaction (PCR), which directly detects the virus in patient samples, and
    produces results in two hours.
    see http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030515/cgth034_1.html
  6. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

    Apr 25, 2002
    Likes Received:
    wannabe badminton phototaker
    Outside the box
    So, I take it you think we should stop sporting events for the years it will take to find a cure for Coronavirus infection.

    Tell me a country in which the health system it doesn't claim itself bursting at the seams;)

    If really travel is so bad, why aren't all passenger flights and international flights stopped now. Includes those between nonSARS countries as somebody (not me) has pointed out that there is even a risk of people transmitting infection in transit.

    If WHO is advising maximal measures, why isn't the majority of the population wearing a N95/N100 mask going out. In particular, are you going out at all? Have you avoided meeting people and crowded places because of atypical pneumonia (under WHO advice)?

    It's not the job of the IBF to enforce screening at borders. That's a job for immigration. I recommended daily checks for all the delegation for the WC should it have proceeded. Do you think that is an irresponsible action?

    Countries affected by SARS are reacting hard. Infectious diseases come and go. It wouldn't be surprising if Coronavirus made another comeback within the year. How long are you going to wait for?

    Your Chinese doctor should have known better. Bad apples will tend to make headlines. It was a doctor form China who was the index case for HK. Professional badminton players don't work in hospitals..as far as I know.:D

    What Moscow did is what they did for their country. Other countries haven't done it.

    Not really sure on your point about children.....

    You have to ask the WHO about their political pressures. I am in no way able to give a comment on that.

    The PCR test is also known to show up negative when a person has the virus. (false negative). Initial results are not definitive tests. Here's what the WHO site says:
    The point on increased frequency with travel is correct. That is the point of screening. Now if you not satisfied with the measures in place already by the immigration departments, why have you not expressed disatisfaction at those systems as travel is still occurring.

    There's an implicit meaning in your statement and can be viewed as a personal attackl:mad: I strongly invite you to retract that statement. You have your choice in which doctors you want to see and don't want to see. One can consider that different doctors have differing opinions, even in the US.

    you misinterpreted the statement. Not the inital stages of disease pattern and spread. The inital stages of infection of an individual.

    Private companies can do those other checks as well.

    Mentioning the risk of terrorism, sorry for not being clear, that was referring to the baseline risk of terrorism. Even when on 'alert' for possible activities, are flights being stopped? I don't want to go further with this part because then we start deviating too far away.

    I do believe every person will die someday in their lifetime!;) But your genetic material can survive..........

    Well, no screening test is perfect. I take your point. But if it really is so ineffectual why bother setting this up as some of our Asian countries have done. And the cross country transmission is very low (now the disease entity has been discovered and we know more about it)

    I get the impression from BFer's that coronavirus has to be eradicated totally. Low as possible risk, right? Apologies if I misinterpreted that. There was a centre in UK that had a lot of resources put in to look for a cure for the common cold. Don't know what happened to the project but there doesn't seem to be a cure now. Granted that certain drugs are available now that weren't available then....

    HIV is a RNA virus...so is coronavirus, as is Hep A, Hep C, Hep G. Apologies, Hep B is a DNA virus.

    The extra information I was referring to is the information we have gained over the last couple of months.

    Finally, I like to add I never stated or acted like everything was hunkydory with SARS and that there was/is no danger. I have always maintained the WC could have gone ahead with proper screening and checks on delegates. WHO and British health authorities did not say the WC had to be cancelled. That was a decision made by the IBF. Going by the opinion of WHO and British health authorities, my view seems to be consistent with theirs...

    (sorry about the disjointed answers - I just couldn't face cutting out and pasting everything so just tried to do it with the points which are less clear)

    FYI, something on mass gatherings, but a bit late.

    #86 Cheung, May 16, 2003
    Last edited: May 16, 2003
  7. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Surfing, reading fan mails:D, Dilithium Crystal hu
    Basement Boiler Room
    Don't get me steam up about anal-ysts recommendation.:mad:
  8. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

    Apr 25, 2002
    Likes Received:
    wannabe badminton phototaker
    Outside the box
    just one last point. there are always going to be differing views and stances on this. This is only natural considering that human beings have different tolerances according to factors like education, upbringing, personal values etc.

    I think we've probably gone through the main issues involved. The fact is the IBF took a very conservative stance. A cavalier approach would be one with no precautions. There is also a middle ground. There are always pros and cons of each side. Many times, we have to choose practicality. Sometimes, practicalities are sacrificed. Other times, main objectives in projects are reached with many different solutions.

    Here we see an example, different solutions to the same problem. No-one is right or wrong. Both can be correct...;)

    Thanks. This will probably be my last statement on this thread;)
  9. colin

    colin Regular Member

    May 23, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Hong Kong SAR, China
    I, too, would like to post a final word on this thread. Cheung and I have both personally treated SARS patients in HK and we are both well aware of the risks and serious consequences of a SARS infection.

    As a matter of fact, I am sad to have recently lost a medical colleague at my previous hospital to SARS, and now have just heard that another ICU colleague has been diagnosed with SARS, too.....

    So believe me when I say I am fully aware of the risks involved. All I am saying is that the general public should be aware that the risk of getting SARS is not high unless you are a health care worker or have cared for someone with SARS. Fortunately the virus needs close contact for transmission, otherwise the whole of HK (or for that matter all of China) would have come down with it by now.

    All I am pleading for is for common sense and that we do not allow irrational fear to prevail. Fear and paranoid will lead discrimination against innocent people and does not help in the battle against SARS. And this will be a long war, as SARS will be with us for a long long time, just like HIV. We all have to live with the fact that SARS is not going away soon and will have to adapt our lifestyles to cope accordingly. So does this mean that the WC must be indefinitely postponed until the SARS virus is completely eliminated and there is therefore zero risk of transmission? Of course not, the rational response is that we have to deal with it by instituting adequate screening procedures as recommended by the health authorities and allowing the event to proceed. You cannot have your cake and eat it, too, by allowing air travel and business contacts between SARS affected regions and the UK, for example, and then not allowing the WC to proceed in Birmingham. This decision doesn’t make sense to me at all.

    Anyway, I am glad that we all have had an opportunity to air our views in this forum. Funny thing is I came here to check out the views of fellow badminton fanatics on purely badminton issues, like getting tips on my lousy backhand, and never expected to post anything on SARS at all....

    In the end, we can agree to disagree, but I hope no one takes anything I have posted personally.
  10. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Top Secret
    No, that's not what I propose. The outbreak just happened "yesterday". I'm
    just saying we should take a breather before we rush into anything longer term.
    But I don't think we should pretend nothing has happened either.

    I think we're trying to control the risk, which may or may not materialize. The
    topic of this thread is about badminton and IBF's decision. In all due respects,
    as much as I like/enjoy the sports, it doesn't pass the risk/reward analysis; of
    course, it's a very personal subjective one. No one (I believe) in this forum could
    have any influences, directly or otherwise, on travel policy of any government.

    Shutting down borders/flights is already happening in some countries (see Russia).
    Others used more liberated approach. In order to travel to another country,
    I suppose one usually needs a visa. Perhaps the visa approval process has
    changed, such that less people can get a tourist visa these days. Do we have
    any visibility in this arena in visa control?

    If I were in H.K., Taiwan, China etc, I probably would. And I think a lot of people
    (as shown on TV) in those localities are already wearing ones.

    Yes, I'm still going out. And yes, I along with my family, have already avoided
    going to certain places, especially crowded places.

    That's precisely my point. IBF can't make decision based on things they can't
    control. And don't forget that, as time goes by, this SARS situation may get
    better or worse, but IBF had to make a decision something like 2-3 weeks ago,
    when the whole SARS thing is at this "peak". And I believe it's a postponement
    as opposed to cancellation - IBF is taking a "Wait and See" attitude.

    Personally, I'd not take those checks too seriously, that is until I learn more
    about their adequacy.

    Personally, waiting for another year or two is just fine with me. Researchers
    are working on this day and night already. We should give them some time to
    bear fruits.

    Your focus is primarily on the hospitals, which is understandable, as they're related
    to your profession. But what happens to those patients before they're checked
    into the hospitals? Or checked out of the hosiptals for that matter (given the
    virus could be in their bodies for up to a month)?

    Not yet.

    I was trying to make a point that people (probably myself included) tend to
    look for "evidence" that support their own views, and ignore everything else.
    Just like the kids - all they need is one of the parents supporting their wants.
    This comment is directed at the comment about different decisions made by
    different sporting organizations, and people are taking their own picks to support
    their arguments.

    Majority doesn't always translate to "Right" decision. We need to assess
    situations on their own merits. Just because everybody is wrong in something
    doesn't make that something right - although I won't go so far to say all these
    sport organizations had made terrible mistakes, as we had already argued this
    point before.

    I'd accept imperfect solutions :). I'm more concerns about the unnecessary
    loss of lives as well as economic fallouts. However, between 0-100%, other than
    100% everything else is imperfect. When evaluating any measures, is it closer
    to 0% or to 100%?

    We've already drifted off-topic ;). Beside, if my bringing up all
    the "imperfections" in the travel inspection policy is not enough a statement about
    my dissatisfaction at those systems, I don't know what else I can say...

    Yes, I'd pick up your invitation and retract that statement. I do hope that you
    and Colin don't bring up again the sweeping statement that says "people taking a
    cautious stance should hide in toilets in fear, etc"...

    The difference, again, is in the efficacy of the counter-measures. I believe today
    we have a better system to fight terrorists than to fight SARS (at least as far
    as airport safety is concerned).

    Along this line, I'd like to make one parting comment - just because something bad
    hasn't happened this far doesn't mean it won't happen in the near future, if we
    know/assert that there's a flaw somewhere in the system. Prior to 911, we all
    know the airport security is flawed, yet nothing was done, until it's too late. Now
    that traveling continues with what I view as defective screening process, I'd cross
    my fingers and see how things work out....

    Interesting. I never thought much about my genetic material... :p

    Desperate situations often times drive people to adopt desperate measures,
    even though those measures may not be effective at all. But I do hope I'm
    wrong here. We'd have a better idea over time.

    Life goes on... Regardless of the outcome of this fight against SARS, all decisions
    in the future should be risk/reward driven, I believe.

    One can view IBF's decision in a more positive light - it's called initiative,
    something welcome in corporate environment :). On another note, what if
    WHO and British Heath authorities did advise stopping the events? The focal
    point of all these arguments would probably shift one level, but we probably
    would still go throught similar points. This goes back to my "Childern" analogy.
    Silence of WHO and British Health authorities are treated as a blessing.

    Beside, I see at IBF website that there're countries withdrawing from WC.
    I suppose they won't be China, or Indonesia or any of the top players (maybe
    except Danmark). We don't really know how many withdrawals. So here remains
    the question of participation too.

    Anyhow, I think you're right. We spent enough time talking about this issue that
    we as BF'er can't do nothing to change. I do appreciate that everyone participated
    remained civilized :).

    Now back to other threads....
    #90 raymond, May 17, 2003
    Last edited: May 17, 2003
  11. kwun

    kwun Administrator

    Apr 24, 2002
    Likes Received:
    BC Janitor
    Santa Clara, CA, USA
    this thread has become an unproductive rathole. i am closing it.

    the original intent was to see how many people are for and against cancelling of the WC, and from the poll result, we have a pretty clear split.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page