COVID-19 COSAFA AfriCAN: Austria-based Zambia star has message for fans back home

Zambia international star Enock Mwepu was enjoying a superb season for Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg before the coronavirus pandemic brought the league to a halt.

The 22-year-old midfielder has made 27 appearances in the campaign so far, including facing the likes of Liverpool and Napoli in the UEFA Champions League.

He is a genuine African star on the rise alongside fellow Zambian Patson Daka in Salzburg, with the latter in incredible scoring form in the Austrian league this season with 17 goals in 21 appearances.

But for now, both of their thoughts are on stopping the spread of the coronavirus that has swept the world and put many lives at risk, including back home in Zambia.

As of Wednesday, Austria has recorded 10,192 cases with 128 deaths, far more than Zambia’s 36 cases, but the potential for the spread in the COSAFA nation remains very high.

“I want to urge everybody to stay safe, calm and healthy. It is up to us to participate to slow down the spread of this virus,” Mwepu says.

“In order to do so, we should practice social distancing, wash our hands and avoid social gathering.
“I hope and pray everybody stays safe and healthy. God bless.”

Mwepu will hope to get back on the pitch as soon as possible to help his side, who are second in the championship play-offs in Austria, four points behind LASK with eight games remaining in the season, if it can be completed.

You can view Mwepu’s full video message to fans here.

Mwepu 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.

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.