The NBA has announced that it is suspending 19/20 regular season games until further notice. The decision came on Wednesday – March11 – evening when an NBA official statement said that a player in the league had tested “preliminary positive” for the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.
As a result, the Association is suspending all games, and specifically the Utah Jazz vs Oklahoma City Thunder match-up. According to the Associated Press, citing sources, Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert has been infected with the coronavirus – or at least so the preliminary testing suggests.
The team has not confirmed the information officially. The NBA is the first major American league to go ahead and suspend all events, but it’s hardly going to be the last. All around the world, events have been cancelled or postponed with uncertainty reigning supreme.
Most notably, the Olympic Games in Japan will most likely be postponed – or cancelled altogether – even though the Olympics’ chief insists that things are on track.
Will March Madness Follow Suit?
America’s college men’s basketball championship might get suspended if COVID-19 continues to spread. Right now, NCAA tournament events are scheduled to continue but no live audience will be admitted.
This applies for the women’s championship as well. NCAA president Mark Emmert explained that this is an unprecedented move but it is necessary due to the severity of the coronavirus disease.
The World Health Organization(WHO) has already declared the outbreak a pandemic, referring to the virus’ ability to spread. While the disease is less contagious than the common flu, it’s more difficult to detect due to its asymptomatic nature.
The incubation period, health experts reckon, could be anything from two to 14 days, making detection very difficult. On top of that, the coronavirus has a two-meter transmittance rate, new studies show and some even fear that the virus may already be evolving with two different coronavirus strains spreading.
Cancelled and Suspended – The List of Sports Events to Have Been Affected Grows
No such information about the evolving nature of the coronavirushas yet been officially confirmed by the WHO. Meanwhile, a whole lot of events globally have turned away their live crowds. Apart from the Indian Wells and NBA, the Tokyo Marathon and Formula One have been subjected to restrictions.
Looking ahead, the virus is unlikely to have been dealt with in the next several months, prompting FIFA to postpone its Asian qualifiers for the 2020 World Cup. Just as well, coronavirus has been keeping world leaders on edge.
The United States has just issued a travel ban for flights between Europe and the U.S., effectively trying to contain the disease’s further spread – or at least slow it down. In the United Kingdom, the English Premier League (EPL) will most likely play games without live audience and pubs have been emptying out as fewer people turn up to watch matches in public spaces.