THE deputy chairperson of the African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games’ local organising committee (LOC), Mohale Mabaleha, has allayed fears that the ongoing games could be scuttled by Covid-19 infections.
This after six taekwondo athletes and a coach, 10 basketball players, an athletics coach and five footballers tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday. All the athletes and coaches are locals. Mabaleha said they had already anticipated Covid cases and had put in place mitigatory measures. “We are aware of the cases that have been emerging but I can’t say we are worried as there were already measures put in place to curb the spread,” Mabaleha said.
“It is not surprising that we are recording such numbers since the planning happened during the pandemic.” So prepared for Covid-19 cases were the organisers that they have quarantine spaces set up in all Games Villages in the event of cases being recorded.
“We have rooms at both our villages which will be used as isolation centres and as we speak all those who tested positive has been taken there and are being monitored by doctors,” he said. The nation should therefore remain control as they are on top of the situation.
“I know that people worry when they hear of cases being recorded but we should not panic because we have the situation under control. In these games, safety is our first priority. “All those who have tested positive are asymptomatic and haven’t shown any signs of illness but our doctors are still monitoring their situation until they are convinced that they are ready to go back and mingle with the rest of the athletes,” Mabaleha said.
The games officially started on Friday and are ending on 13 December. The athletes are competing in football, judo, basketball, volleyball, netball, swimming, taekwondo, athletics, gymnastics and tennis.