COVID-19 COSAFA AfriCAN: Angola’s Girabola gets boost with date for return to training

Angola’s prospects of getting their 2020/21 Girabola campaign under way on time in August have improved after the country’s government allowed a return to all training for team sports from June 24.

The previous Girabola season was cut short with five rounds still to play as the coronavirus pandemic brought it to an early finish, with no championship awarded and no relegation.

But it looks as though the new campaign may be able to get under way as scheduled in its traditional August start after a relaxation of lockdown regulations by government, making Angola one of the first in the region to have some clarity on their next campaign.

Others, such as South Africa, Zambia and Botswana, are still pondering how to finish their 2019/20 seasons.

Angolans will be able to practice individual sports in open spaces from May 26, with government waiting a further month before allowing team activities.

The issue of whether spectators would be allowed to attend football matches will be decided based on the conditions at the time.

Angola has so far confirmed 61 cases of coronavirus in the country, with four deaths. That has reportedly come from around 10,000 tests conducted.

The fact that the country is contemplating a return to play in the new season will be music to the ears of football-starved fans from around the region, who will be hoping their own leagues can do the same.

To help in this regard, supporters should follow the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which include:

Wash your hands frequently: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Maintain social distancing: Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth: Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene: Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early: Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.