COVID-19 popularly known as Corona virus has held the world major sporting events at ransom after a massive outbreak that started in Wuhan, China last year December. The virus has been spreading daily with rapid speed that caused more than 3,000 fatalities. Corona Virus was declared a Pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) early this week.
in the wake of rising numbers of registered and confirmed cases, the government of Botswana through Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) recently took a decision to stop all planned external sports travels for National teams and the hosting of international teams for undisclosed period of time.
The BNSC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Falcon Sedimo said the decision was prompted by the impact that the virus caused in sports, especially from gatherings in stadiums worldwide.
“This is a serious virus that has claimed lives of human beings and we found it fit to act even though there are no confirmed or registered cases in Botswana. Restricting travels and hosting of international events will make a huge impact in reducing the chances of catching the virus,” he said.
Sedimo further stated that there was need to comply and learn from other countries that are affected so that relevant precautionary measures are taken to protect the country and its citizens from the deadly virus.
“Upon the suspension of couple of major sports events across the world by local sports regulatory bodies it also raised an alarm on our side because we had lot of trips on the pipeline. There is need to curb the spread of the virus at all costs,” he added
The National U-17 ladies team became the first victim after they were prohibited from travelling to Rabat for their World Cup qualifier return leg fixture against Morocco recently.
Most of local sports events scheduled for this weekend were cancelled by different National Sports Associations in the country following the cancellation of major sport events in the world. Italy and USA have suspended all sports action in their countries. Some countries have cancelled events such as formula 1, football leagues, tennis grand slams amongst others.
This has impacted Botswana’s efforts to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the international events that they are deemed easy unlike local events. However, the International Olympics Committee (IOC) has insisted that the Olympics will go on as scheduled from the 24th July until 9th August in Tokyo, Japan despite Corona Virus fears.