By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Athletes and officials coming to the National Sports Festival tagged Edo 2020, are to present certificates and documentation of Covid-19 tests and vaccination before they can be admitted into the games villages in the state.
Chairman of the local organising committee, Mr Philip Shaibu, disclosed this on Sunday in Benin, while reeling out guidelines for sports fiesta.
He said that the guidelines were agreed for the National Sports Festival, following the meeting between the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development and the Edo state government.
“MOC has decided that all athletes/officials from the 35 states and the FCT, participating in the National Sports Festival must take Covid-19 tests 72 hours before arrival for the tournament.
“All athletes/officials are to take Covid-19 vaccine at least 12 days before arrival for the tournament.
“Athletes/officials are to present certificates and documentation of Covid-19 tests and vaccination before they can be admitted into the games villages in the state,” he said.
Shaibu who is the Deputy Governor of the state, also announced that the number of athletes and officials expected to participate in the games have been reduced from 14,000 to 8,000, in line with Covid-19 protocol.
He further disclosed that officials of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), will arrive in Benin City four days to the commencement of the festival, to monitor compliance with Covid-19 guidelines.
“All the non-pharmaceutical measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 will be provided for by the state government at the various venues and camps.
“Attendance at the games is strictly regulated, and the general public is advised to follow the activities across media platforms, including social platforms, as it will be streamed live.
“The state government and the ministry have agreed that the tag-line for the games remain ‘Edo 2020’, despite the postponement occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The government and the ministry have agreed that Nigeria’s contingent for the Olympics would be camped in the state for preparation for the games, to take advantage of the world-class equipment and facilities in the state.
“The torch of unity will arrive at Edo State on April 3 and will go round the 18 local governments in the state. It will arrive at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium main bowl on April 6, where the governor would light it up,” Shaibu said.