COSAFA’s most successful coach, Sunday Chidzambwa of Zimbabwe, is encouraging the football community throughout Southern African, but particularly all supporters, to heed the advice and instruction of authorities as the battle to contain the coronavirus continues.
Chidzambwa was speaking as Zimbabwe enters a 21-day lockdown from Monday, aimed at curbing the spread of the deadly virus in the country.
“The best thing for fans as we go forward is to listen to what the authorities have to say,” Chidzambwa says. “If they say stay at home, then we musty heed that advice. Already it is clear we have to avoid gatherings altogether,” he said.
Chidzambwa was an international star for his country before coaching Zimbabwe to the COSAFA Cup title and going undefeated through 21 games in the competition.
His record is unmatched in the annual southern African championship and unlikely to be ever be broken.
His last coaching assignment was with Zimbabwe at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt last July.
“Unfortunately, because of the virus, the new season has yet to get underway in Zimbabwe. It was supposed to start after the CHAN tournament but now we have to wait and see.”
Not that the Harare-based Chidzambwa will stray far from the game: “I’m at home isolating myself, watching football and when I’m tired of the TV, then I read football manuals.
“I cannot stay away from the game,” he laughs.
The lockdown in Zimbabwe will curtail movement within the country, shut most shops and banks, and suspend flights in and out of the country, but is also following the lead of a number of nations, such as South Africa, who deem the measures necessary to fight the virus.
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Chidzambwa is adhering to the guidelines laid out by the World Health Organisation in the bid to combat the coronavirus outbreak, 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.