Kenya bars its athletes from Kilimanjaro Marathon in Tanzania over Covid-19 concerns

Kenya’s Kiplat Kiplimo wins 2020 Kilimanjaro Mens Marathon in Moshi/ IPP Media

Kenya has barred its athletes from participating in the Kilimanjaro Marathon in Tanzania over Covid-19 concerns.

Through a statement On Wednesday, February 24, Athletics Kenya said it would not issue authorization to athletes’ participation at the marathon, which will take place on February 28.

“We are urging all the athletes not to travel to Tanzania for the event,” the statement said.

WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus on February 20 said Tanzania’s Covid-19 situation remains “very concerning”, and renewed his call for the country to start reporting Covid-19 cases and share data.

Tanzania last published Covid-19 data in May 2020 saying it has prayed the virus away.

The country remains in denial, with President Pombe Magufuli even warning against distribution of masks without approval because “they might be having corona”.

In August last year, AU’s Centres for Disease and Control (Africa CDC), Dr John Nkengasong said Tanzania’s lack of Covid-19 data is a concern for the African Union.

Tedros noted that a number of Tanzanians travelling to neighbouring countries and beyond have tested positive for Covid-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Tanzania, noting that for the duration of the pandemic, it has not implemented stay at home orders, nor limited transportation options or business operations.

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