By Tosin Omojola (newspot)
Ahead of the full reopening of sporting activities in Nigeria, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, has released the codes and protocols to guard against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Known as the COVID-19 Sports Codes and Protocols, the codes and protocols were formulated to provide a COVIID-19 infrastucture qnd standard operational procedure to regulate the practice of sports in the country.
The codes and protocols explained what should be provided at sporting venues as well as what to be observed within and around the sporting arena.
The codes and protocols were splitted into categories namely, infrastructure, protocols, catering venue, accommodation, transportation, spectators and education.
Under the COVID-19 infrastructure, the codes and protocols stated that the facilities (in and around), must be completely decontaminate, while running water containers with soaps at the point of entrance and designated locations should be provided.
Also to be provided under infrastucture are sufficient face masks for participants and support personnels, positioning of support personnels and officials in designated locations, observing the 2-meter physical distancing rule, sufficient number of hand sanitizers for all participants and support personnels at all entry points as well as response units in all designated venues with COVID-19 equipped ambulance, while good hygiene signage across all venues, changing rooms, training facilities, e.t.c should be ensured.
In addition, to be provided under infrasticture include, disposable plastic bag and bins, evacuation of waste and disposable cups at water points.
As regards protocols, the following must be complied with.
All entrants into any sports venue must wear face mask, obeserve the 2 -meter physical distancing rule at the points of entry and also inside the facilities/venues.
All participants must submit to temperature screening at all entry points, participants must wear face masks throughout their presence in the sports venue/facilities, must stay within the designated 2-meter physical distancing positions allotted to them, while the 2-meter physical distancing rule must be observed at all times upon exiting the sports venue/facilities.
Under catering venues, caterers should maintain strict hygiene and be subjected to COVID-19 test before embarking on the preparation of meals for athletes and officials.
The 2-meter distancing rule should be maintained by caterers when preparing meals, while athletes and officials are requires to regularly wash their hands with soaps and running water before and after meals and Team leaders are to pick up the packed meals on behalf of their teams from the Cafetarial to minimize large gathering and physical contact.
For accommodation, the following rules must be observed.
Decontamination of the Games Village/Hostel before and after the games, only 2 athletes and officials are to be accommodated in a spacious and well ventilated room, in a large hostel format, the beds should be spaced observing the 2-meter rule, while soaps and running water and alcohol based sanitizers must be provided at designated points in the Games Village/Hostel.
In addition. to the aforementioned under accommodation, Infra-red thermometer for screening must be provided in the Games Village/Hostel, just as Clinics must be provided in the Hostel accommodation, while all atthletes and officials accessing the Games Village/Hostel should have personal hand sanitizers.
On transportation, all vehicles should have alcohol based sanitizers for use by drivers and passengers, all buses and vehicles conveying athletes and officials should be at 50 percent capacity, all passangers and drivers should submit themselves for temprature test before boarding the vehicle.
Also, drivers and passangers should wear face masks throughout the entire duration of their shuttle, all vehicles should have disposable bins, there should be no standing or attachment in all buses/vehicles.and athletes and officials boarding and exiting vehicles should use hand sanitizers.
Under the spectators category, the 2-meter physical distancing rule should be maintained by all spectators and support staff during the games, where possible, sports events should be held without spectators, all spectators should wear face masks during the games and spectators to all sports venue/events should be screened for personal alcohol based sanitizers.
Under education, educational materials should be provided for participants and spectators to promote required COVID-19 protocols (e.g. Handbills, Banners, e.t.c.), there must be regular announcement /reminders on COVID-19 protocols through the Public Address System in addition to seminars on COVID-19 and Anti-doping.
Meanwhile, a nine-man Central Coordinating and Monitoring Committee (CMC) in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports has been put in place to ensure strict adherence to the codes and protocols while State Corrdinating and Monitoring Committee (SCMC) will be constituted to function at the state level.
The CMC is headed by Mr Gabriel Aduda, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, as the chairman. Other members include; Dr Ademola Are, Dirrector, Grassroots Sports Development, Dr Paul Onyeudo, Mr Peter Nelson, Dr Simon Ebhojiaye, Engineer Olatunji Okedairo, Mt Tunde Akpeji, Mr Olajide Ajayi and Mrs Maria Wophill.