Coronavirus outbreak: Kenya bars athletes from travelling overseas after WHO declares pandemic

Kenya’s athletics authority said on Thursday it had barred its athletes from travelling to international events due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

Reuters March 12, 2020 14:46:09 IST
Coronavirus outbreak: Kenya bars athletes from travelling overseas after WHO declares pandemic
  • The suspension announcement comes a day after the World Health Organization labelled the outbreak a pandemic

  • Kenya boasts some of the world’s top athletes, who regularly win medals at premier competitions

  • The East African nation has not had a confirmed case of the virus so far

Nairobi: Kenya’s athletics authority said on Thursday it had barred its athletes from travelling to international events due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

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Representational photo. AP

The suspension announcement comes a day after the World Health Organization labelled the outbreak a pandemic. More than 126,000 people have been infected globally by the flu-like virus and more than 4,600 have died, according to a Reuters tally based on official announcements.

Kenya has not had a confirmed case of the virus.

The East African nation boasts some of the world’s top athletes, who regularly win medals at premier competitions in Europe, Asia and North America.

“Following a directive from the Government of Kenya and due to the global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, Athletics Kenya has suspended all clearance and travel to international events for athletes,” Athletics Kenya said in a statement.

“In a bid to safeguard the athletes and consequently the country from the virus, we urge all athletes to cancel travel arrangements for the next one month pending further communication,” it added.

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