COVID-19 COSAFA AfriCAN: Heeralall backs fans to beat coronavirus pandemic

Mauritius referee Ahmad Heeralall is one of the rising stars of the continent and like many football fans, players and coaches, is eager to see games back on the pitch when it is safe to do so.

He has been a big part of recent continental qualifiers and finals tournaments, taking charge of the five-goal thriller between Kenya and Tanzania at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Heeralall was also in the middle when Bafana Bafana hosted Paraguay in a friendly in 2018, and has been busy in CAF club competition matches in recent years.

He also handled the 2018 COSAFA Cup semi-final between Lesotho and Zimbabwe, as well as the final in 2017 when Zimbabwe edged Zambia.

Heeralall has urged fans to do their part to half the spread of the virus, so that football may return sooner.

Mauritius has recorded 332 cases of coronavirus, with 10 deaths, but only seven new cases since April 13, more than a month.

“Wash your hands with soap and water,” Heeralall says of a method that remains among the most effective in halting the spread of the virus.

“Maintain social distancing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Cover your mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

“If you have a fever of a cough, seek medical attention early. Follow clear instructions from your local authorities and stay safe!”

You can check out Heeralall’s video message here!    

Supporters in all COSAFA nations are desperate for football to return, and are urged to follow the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which include:

Wash your hands frequently: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Maintain social distancing: Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth: Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene: Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early: Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.