March 2, 2020

Impact of Coronavirus on sport

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Mukudzei Chingwere

The world is on lockdown over growing fears of the spread of Coronavirus.
Covid-19, the official name of the disease with influenza-like symptoms that started in China, has infected close to 100 000 people and killed an estimated 3000 globally.

The disease is spread through inhaling contaminated air.

Dr Kathy Lofy, a state health officer for Washington in the United States, says Coronavirus is primarily spread through close contact with another individual, in particular through coughing and sneezing on somebody else who is within a range of about 3 to 6 feet from that person.

The fear of the spread of Coronavirus has already disrupted public gatherings mainly in Europe and Asia, such as schools, religious and sports events.

Sports events around the globe are likely to be hugely affected as they attract huge numbers which put participants and spectators at high risk.
Olympic organisers have indicated that this year’s edition of the games might be cancelled if the disease is not contained by end of May.

In Zimbabwe, however, no events have been affected as there are still no confirmed cases of the disease in the country. The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services allayed fears that those who have been detained amid fears of the disease have tested positive after a recent suspected case was reported on Sunday.

“Government would like to update the nation that the traveller from Hunan province of China who was under observation at Wilkins Hospital, has tested negative to the Coronavirus (Covid-19),” the ministry said on Microblogging site Twitter.

It had earlier Twitted that the health systems in the country had ‘put shoulders to the wheel’ to avoid the further spread of the disease.

“Government would like to inform the public that today, a traveller from Hunan Province in China was flagged up as needing assessment for Coronavirus. Full WHO Protocols were deployed. The traveller has now been taken to designated isolation facilities where tests are being onducted,” read an earlier post.

However, the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Zimbabwe and Algeria next month in North Africa remains uncertain.

Zimbabwean football administrators have raised concern over the country’s ability to stage an international game.

In Algeria, there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 which might affect the fixture.

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