20 November 2012

East Africa: Cecafa Allays Ebola Fears

THE Confederation of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) has stepped up measures to ensure the Senior Challenge Cup goes ahead as planned after threats of a fresh outbreak of Ebola virus hit the host city Kampala.

The threat comes just days before the regional tournament kicks off on November 24.

However, the Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye told Times Sport on Monday that there is no reason for alarm.

"We already informed member associations of the Ebola scare and measures are underway to ensure that the tournament runs smoothly," he said.

"The situation is under control and the responsible government authorities are working hard to keep the situation under control. Our medical team is also working around the clock.

"Teams and officials will be safe from the outbreak," Musonye stated.

Ugandan health authorities have said the situation was under control. "The Ministry of Health once again calls upon the public to stay calm as all possible measures are being undertaken to control the situation," Christine Ondoa, Uganda's minister of health, told BBC.

In August, Malawi's "Flames", who are the guest team at this year's tournament, called off a friendly against Uganda Cranes amid fears of the virus that had claimed several lives.

Ebola, which has no cure or vaccine, is a highly infectious virus known to kill quickly. The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person.

A total of 12 national teams from the region, each consisting 22 players, coaching staff and administrators, are expected in Kampala starting next week, for the two week tournament that officially kicks-off on November 24.

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