The South African Premier Soccer League has taken similar measures introduced by the English Premier League regarding the coronavirus outbreak after the Southern African country recorded its first case of the disease on Thursday.
The PSL have now banned the traditional pre-match handshake, among other measures, to curb the spreading of the virus.
The development was confirmed in a statement issued on Friday.
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.
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.
– 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.
Should an individual have flu-like symptoms and has travelled to one of the countries with a present outbreak, you should consult with your healthcare practitioner, but it is advisable to contact the Corona Virus hotline number on 080029999 to speak to a dedicated practitioner to advise accordingly.
Again, as communicated by the NICD, there is no need to panic but the precautionary measures as indicated above, are advised to avoid the spread of the virus.