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Amina directs self-quarantine for sportsmen

Kenya team huddle before the game against Ireland on day one of the HSBC Canada Sevens 2020 at BC Place Stadium on 7 March, 2020 in Vancouver, Canada. Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has directed all sportspeople and their support staff who might have travelled out of the country over the last 14 days to self-quarantine for a similar period of time as the country continues in steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

In a statement released to newsrooms on Monday evening, Amina has instructed heads of all sports organizations to ensure that this is adhered to, coming just a few days after the country confirmed two more cases of the COVID-19.

Among the teams which will be affected is the national sevens team which returned from the Los Angeles and Vancouver legs of the World Sevens series.

The players have a mandatory 10-day rest and recovery period, but then they will have to add four more days of quarantine to that to ensure none has imported the dreaded virus which has sent the world of sports into turmoil with almost all events cancelled or postponed.

A panoramic view of the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

At the same time, Amina has directed that all public sporting facilities be closed for the next 30 days. This essentially means that all leagues across all sports will not resume until after the 30 day window lapses.

The Football Kenya Federation last week announced that all football activities will be suspended until the first week of April, but that will now have to extend for two more weeks.

Hockey and volleyball leagues were also halted by the respective federations while a Universities Basketball League was also stopped because of the government’s directive on public gatherings.

The closure of the facilities might also affect the works currently on at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani ahead of the World Athletics Continental Tour (May) and the World Under-20 Championship (July), with World Athletics yet to say whether or not the two events will be affected.

Amina however in her statement said that construction works will be coordinated by the Principle Secretary Joe Okudo as well as officials from Sports Kenya.

Also set to be affected are athletes training with eyes on the Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo in July and August. The Nyayo Stadium was set to be opened for athletes training for qualifiers as well as national trials.

The CS says the State Department of Sports will put up a protocol to regulate the usage of the facility for athletes.

Also cancelled are meetings that had been scheduled by the ministry, and of the biggest effect will be Steering and Organizing Committee meetings for the World Under-20 Championships and the Safari Rally.

Instead, Amina says these committees will have to organize virtual meetings to minimize interaction but also maintain the high levels of preparation required.

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