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Covid 19: Ugandan Sport to return behind closed doors

By Nganda Kizito

President Yoweri Museveni announced on Sunday, September 20, that he had lifted the lock-down on sports. This has lifted the spirits of many in the sports fraternity, whose livelihoods have been affected since March, following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Uganda.

In his periodic address to the nation, President Museveni declared that after six months of sports inactivity in the country, the total lock-down had been lifted, after realizing, that for a number of sportsmen and women, their lives depended on being out there on the field, competing.

Nakivubo construction works (video:Ahmed .B. Masembe)

Museveni said: “Sports can return but under strict standard operating procedures, in order to curb the continued spread of covid-19. The athletes will have to undertake a covid-19 test at least 72 hours before they engage in any competition, to ensure that no one, who has been exposed, infects others.”

The President went ahead to confirm that at this point in time, indoor sports remain forbidden, however, because of how fast the coronavirus circulates in closed settings. Instead, the outdoor sports activities can resume, but without compromising on the standard operating procedures.

These include, sanitizing, wearing face masks and social distancing as much as possible. The latter is rather possible in sports like lawn tennis and cricket. But in other sports like rugby, netball, basketball and football, player contact is inevitable.

This will call for testing, two weeks before the various sportsmen and women can get into action. But who foots this bill on testing remains the million dollar question, because at $64 (Shs 240,000) per test, few sportsmen and women, let alone teams, will be able to afford this.

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