IF the spread of the coronavirus could be slowed down simply by not talking about it then British Swimming would be unexpected pioneers.

Alas, with medical advice offering nothing to suggest that could be the case, the decision by the governing body to prevent their swimmers speaking yesterday about a situation that will likely have a serious effect on their livelihoods – especially in an Olympic year – seemed a curious one indeed.

While the rest of the sporting world has gone into lockdown in response to the growing threat of Covid-19, day two of the Edinburgh International Swim Meet at the Royal Commonwealth Pool proceeded as planned.

Many of the sport’s leading British names were in attendance – including Olympic champion Adam Peaty – obviously not deterred by any concern about competing in front of a decent-sized crowd of probably close to the limit of 500 set to be imposed on public gatherings in the week ahead.

Add in all the coaches and other support staff who gathered at poolside to watch the meet unfold and it would definitely have broached that upper limit.

And yet there seemed little sense of anxiety among either spectators or swimmers in an atmosphere that – during the skins races especially – became as boisterous as you would expect at any meet of this calibre.

The decision, however, not to allow media access to poolside for the traditional post-race interviews was not taken as a health precaution. That would almost have been understandable.

Instead, it was said to have been taken in response to swimmers being asked about the threat of the coronavirus and the possible ramifications from a sporting sense.

It seemed a curious stance from British Swimming. First of all, it is a topic that has become impossible to tiptoe around. It has reached and is now impacting on every aspect of life, regardless of an individual’s background.

Secondly, it has huge implications for swimming. The British championships are set to take place next month and will double this year as the Olympic trials. As things stand, both the trials and the Games themselves are still on course to take place but that could change at any day.

It would have been instructive to hear what the likes of Olympic hopeful Duncan Scott, for example, felt about that scenario but that wasn’t to be the case on this occasion. Too many questions already about coronavirus, was the message passed down the line.

Still, there was plenty of sporting action to enjoy even if most of the protagonists were not allowed to talk about their achievements beyond a few furtive words grabbed here and there.

In the men’s freestyle 50m skins dash – when the field is reduced one race at a time from eight down to two – Scott held off the threat of his good friend and world champion James Guy to take the honours.

The Scot, in fact, won all five of his races. He had equalled the Scottish record in the morning heats and then set a new standard of 22.21 in the first race of the evening session.

There was similar joy for Cassie Wild in the women’s 50m backstroke as the Edinburgh swimmer pipped Jessica Fullalove in the final duel to take the money.

Peaty had announced on social media ahead of the meet that, due to the ongoing health crisis, he wouldn’t be stopping for selfies or giving autographs.

If he was showing any nerves about the situation, though, there was little sign of it as he stormed to victory in the 100m breaststroke, although he admitted he wasn’t quite at his best.

“It was good,” he said, in an illicit, hastily-grabbed interview. “Unexpectedly good. [A time of] 58.13 so still the fastest human at an Edinburgh meeting. But it’s been part of a process.

“This morning was a bit ropey. It wasn’t really me. I thought about things this afternoon and went back to the drawing board.”

His Loughborough team-mate James Wilby claimed second with Stirling’s Ross Murdoch just behind in 1.00.68.

“It was all right,” said Murdoch. “It not quite as fast as I went in Northern Ireland recently but I’ll take it. It’s good having that level of competition.”

And that was the final word.