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The African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 has with immediate effect put all scheduled regional activities on hold due to the ravaging spread of the COVID 19.  The virus has shocked the world and poses a serious threat to the sporting industry and the AUSC Region 5 has made a conscious decision and aid heed to the WHO and several Governments’ calls to preserve the sanctity of life under the circumstances. 

The scheduled 2020 Games joint Chefs de Mission, Confederations, Regional Organising Committee and Local Organising Committee meetings scheduled for Lesotho from 22 to 28 March in Maseru has been postponed indefinitely.  The Desk Officers, Women in Sport and Sport for People with Disabilities Committees meetings as well as Sports Development and Finance and Marketing Commission meetings including Secretariat meetings that had all been scheduled for the period between 1 and 6 April have been indefinitely postponed.  The Executive Committee meeting scheduled for 5 and 6 May in Maputo, Mozambique as well as the proposed Regional Marathon tentatively slated for 16 May in South Africa have also been cancelled and new dates will be announced in due course.

The decision was taken after a long consultation process with internal structures and key stakeholders.  Measures to ensure work that can still be done remotely, within the confines of the travel restrictions still continues to be executed in order to guarantee the subsistence of the Region. Only the Regional Annual Sports Awards (RASA) scheduled for Saturday 23 May 2020 in Eswatini still has a remote chance to proceed if the situation abates. 

AUSC Region 5 CEO, Mr Stanley Mutoya said: “It is unfortunate that we have had to cancel all our events and activities due to the Corona virus.   We have not cancelled RASA for now with the hope that the current situation will have improved by end of May”

The CEO noted that it was prudent to take precautions in the interest of health security for the region’s citizens and in solidarity with the efforts by the various Member States Governments to contain the pandemic in the shortest possible time with minimum casualties.  Only those activities that can be dispensed of via virtual and remote means will continue to be conducted. 

The CEO however urged all members of the Region not to panic but to exercise extreme caution by practicing preventative habits and behaviors at all times.   “The AUSC Region 5 office has activated business continuity measures by immediately resorting to telecommuting in order to allow staff to work from home and minimize interacting in public through commuting and other means that may expose them to possible infection in the event of any cases”, Mutoya said.   The situation will be closely monitored and appropriate measures will be taken to mitigate the spread of the virus in Member States.  Mutoya said, “We deeply regret the inconvenience caused by this disruption and we hope the situation will normalize soon”.