Stingers’ Europe Tour in jeopardy. The team forced to take a night in the Middle East.

Italian Prime minster Giuseppe Conte declares State of Emergency as Italy struggles with Corona Virus Outbreak

Australia’s top 15 water polo players are heading to Europe, for one of their final preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The Stinger’s travel plans consists of spending a week in Rome followed by a week in Budapest, where the team will have a much a needed opportunity to train and play official friendly games against some of the best European water polo teams.

Unfortunately, as the Stingers depart, the news about the Corona Virus outbreak in Italy intensifies and naturally the focus shift on health and well being of our top water polo players as well as all those effected by this global out break.

Consequently, as a matter of precaution the team which was set to depart for Italy in the matter of hours is now currently grounded in the city of Dubai the emirate in the United Arab Emirates, as Water polo Australia authorities search for solutions.

This morning the British Guardian described the situation in Italy as “Surreal” and “Fearful” with 299 confirmed cases, 6 dead and more than 11 towns in a complete lock down in Italy’s northern Lombardy region. More than 50’000 people have been told not to leave their home.

Province Lombordy, Italy approximately 500 km away from the Province of Lazio where the Stinger’s are set to spend their second week of training

The spread of the virus has disrupted high profile events including Milan Fashion Week and the Venice Carnival, while Serie A football matches have been postponed and operas have also had to be cancelled at Milan’s famed La Scala.

Whilst the Current epicenter of the outbreak is located relatively far away from the province of Lazio where the Stinger’s are set to train, if the situation is not stabilized in the near future, it could put in jeopardy not only Stinger’s travel plans to Italy, but also the Women Olympic Qualification games which are planned to be held in city of Trieste in Italy’s North.

Australia Government website in it’s latest statement on 24th of February wrote that “there has been confirmed cases of Corona-virus (COVID-19) in Italy, including deaths. Authorities have introduced measures to restrict the use of public spaces and limit travel in some parts of northern Italy where cases have occurred. Check with your travel provider on disruptions. Follow the advice of local authorities. If you have symptoms of respiratory illness, contact your doctor before travelling”.

More updates to come.

In numbers: Italian regions affected by Corona-virus

Lombardy Current cases: 172 Deaths: 6

Piedmont Current cases: 3 Deaths: 0

Veneto: Current cases: 33 Deaths: 1

Emilia Romagna Current cases: 18 Deaths: 0

Lazio (Rome region) Current cases: 3 Deaths: 0