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South African league bans handshake over Covid-19

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi


The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has taken the necessary precaution following South Africa’s first positive case of Covid-19 coronavirus by suspending the “shaking of hands” before matches.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed on Thursday that South Africa has recorded its first positive test case for the virus.

Mkhize released a statement on Thursday confirming that the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NCID) confirmed a positive test.

Meanwhile, the PSL released a statement on Friday urging clubs to take the necessary precautionary measures.

As the League, it is pertinent that we advise our Clubs’ management, players, technical staff, match officials, match commissioners, sponsors, PSL staff and other stakeholders the importance of the recent COVID-19 outbreak.

This advice is to be wary of controllable risks factors. With several teams in the Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship, including playing within the continent, we feel it is necessary for us to caution as a League.

As indicated by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Department of Health and the World Health Organisation, the virus is droplet spread – so it is spread via droplets when coughing.

South Africa’s Minister of health Dr Zweli Mkhize

Some precautionary measures include, but are not limited to:Shaking of hands should be suspended to reduce spread risk.

When coughing, cough within the elbow or a tissue (dispose of the tissue in the correct manner).Wash hands frequently with soap and water or utilise waterless hand washes often especially after contact with individuals.

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When handling public space materials (trolleys at airports and public spaces etc), it is advisable to, if possible, use disinfectant wipes on these items also to reduce risk. Limit direct contact with individuals by handshaking, hugging as much as one can.

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