March 12, 2020 / 7:57 AM / 22 days ago

ATHLETICS-Kenya bars athletes from global travel over coronavirus worries

NAIROBI, March 12 (Reuters) - Kenya’s athletics authority said on Thursday it had barred its athletes from travelling to international events due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

The suspension announcement comes a day after the World Health Organization labelled the outbreak a pandemic. More than 126,000 people have been infected globally by the flu-like virus and more than 4,600 have died, according to a Reuters tally based on official announcements.

Kenya has not had a confirmed case of the virus.

The East African nation boasts some of the world’s top athletes, who regularly win medals at premier competitions in Europe, Asia and North America.

“Following a directive from the Government of Kenya and due to the global outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, Athletics Kenya has suspended all clearance and travel to international events for athletes,” Athletics Kenya said in a statement.

“In a bid to safeguard the athletes and consequently the country from the virus, we urge all athletes to cancel travel arrangements for the next one month pending further communication,” it added. (Reporting by Omar Mohammed)

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