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Health Ministry orders closure of golf clubs

A golfer enjoys a tee at a golf club in Nairobi.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7 – The Ministry of Health has ordered closure of all Golf Clubs in the country with immediate effect as the government continues to enforce measures to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, while addressing the media on Tuesday afternoon stated that the clubs offer a ripe ground for the spread of the virus.

“Golf clubs have also been abused,” a visibly angered Kagwe said.

“Consequently, all golf clubs must be closed with immediate effect. Golfers are free to walk while keeping social distance but there will be no caddies in any of those golf clubs. It is the members who will eventually pass the virus to the caddies, therefor they will remain closed as well as the club houses,” Kagwe noted.

With most of the golfing events that were scheduled this year being postponed due to the sweeping effects the virus, both professional and amateur golfers have continued to grace various clubs in a bid to both keep themselves busy and keep their tees in swing.

But now, Kagwe’s orders will mean none of them will be opened, following up on an announcement by his Sports counterpart Amina Mohammed who last month ordered closure of all sporting facilities in the country.

Meanwhile, Kagwe has also issued a stern warning to owners of private sports clubs to ensure they limit the attendance of their members who come in to jog or walk to keep their fitness.

The CS says the Ministry has noted with concern crowding of such facilities, pointing out that the rate of person-to-person infection is of huge concern at this moment.

“It is necessary that people stay healthy, but we must observe social distancing. We have observed in some clubs where people are running next to each other. There is no better way of passing this virus than doing so,” Kagwe said.

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He further warned; “Managers must restrict numbers in those clubs so that people are able to social distance. We will observe for next days and may take further measures if it becomes necessary.”

With most public facilities closed, some sportsmen have taken advantage of their ability to access these privately-owned members only clubs to keep their fitness levels high.

Kenya has so far confirmed 172 cases of the virus, with 14 more confirmed on Tuesday, with six deaths so far.

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