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At least I can be Wimbledon champion for two years: Halep
4 April 2020, 3:15 PM

Simon Halep is trying to look on the bright side regarding the suspension of the tennis season due to the coronavirus pandemic, which means at least she will be referred to as reigning Wimbledon champion for two years.

The Romanian former world number one produced a flawless performance to beat Serena Williams in 2019’s final, but this week’s cancellation of the grass court Grand Slam means she will not get to defend her title this summer.

The 28-year-old is currently back in her native Romania where she has been locked down at home for 22 days, only popping out briefly to jog around the grounds of her residence.

Asked about the Wimbledon cancellation, announced on Wednesday, Halep told Eurosport’s Tennis Legends vodcast: “I take it positively, because I am now the defending champion for two years. So, I have to live with that for one more year so that’s a good thing again.”

“I am excited that I will be able to play the first match on (the) Tuesday I think on Centre Court. So, I really want to make this experience. It’s going to be great for sure.”

The WTA Tour and ATP Tour have been shut down until the middle of July, at least, but Halep is geared up for a longer suspension of the season, possibly the whole year.

“I know that the worst scenario in my head is that this year is going to be cancelled and, yeah, I’m sure we’re going to overcome this period if we listen and stay home safely,” she said.

“For the moment, I think it’s going to be longer than July. We hope for the US Open (scheduled for Aug. 31 to Sept, 13) but it’s not sure because New York is struggling now.”

Lots of sleep

After so many years jet-setting around the globe, Halep said the enforced time off from the Tour had been welcome in some respects, even if the circumstances were dreadful.

“It’s the longest period that I haven’t touched a racket. Not the ball, the racket – since Dubai,” she said. “And I want to keep it that way for one more month.”

“I just kept it very safe because I am a little bit scared about it. And I just want to stay chilled. I wake up at around 10 or 11. It’s very good to have a lot of sleep. No alarm clock, no schedule, so I just wake up. I have a late breakfast and then I do some running here in the complex. Because we are allowed to do it, it’s a private residence. In the house I work on my core and my other exercises. So, every day I am working and I feel fit yes.”

Halep said that while she missed her job, it was right that sport had faded into the background at a time of global crisis.

“It’s just a world problem and I just want to say that it’s safer that everything got cancelled. It’s not a small problem, it’s a huge problem. And we just have to listen to what they say, to stay home and being very safe,” she said.

“Tennis is not everything in my life.”

VIDEO: Inter-Ministerial Committee briefs the media on COVID-19
31 March 2020, 2:24 PM

The Inter-Ministerial Committee is briefing the media on the COVID-19 pandemic which has pushed the country to effect a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to disrupt the transmition of the coronavirus in the society.


Health experts warn SA of second wave of COVID-19 after lockdown
30 March 2020, 10:01 PM

Health experts have warned that South Africa will get a second wave of COVID-19 after the end of the current lockdown. South Africa is currently on a nationwide 21-day lockdown in an attempt to stop the number of new infections across the country.

Professor Helen Rees of the South African Health Products Authority says they are monitoring countries like China on the experiences they had with coronavirus. She has encouraged people to play their part to flatten the curve by practicing social distancing, ensuring good hgyiene and using protective gear like gloves and masks correctly.

“There will be people in the community that won’t have been exposed and we might get what is called a second wave because this virus will hide away. As you know, many people don’t have severe symptoms and that’s part of the problem. Majority of people won’t be very ill. The virus might hide away or as we’ve seen in China, it could get re-imported into the country, then we can get a second wave.”

The South African Health Products Authority have also warned that using protective gear like masks and gloves incorrectly defeats the purpose of preventing COVID-19 infection. It says constant washing of hands with soap remains the best in ensuring good hand hygiene.

This comes as thousands of people have resorted to wearing gloves in an effort to prevent getting the corona virus.

The Authority’s Professor Helen Reese says people who wear gloves tend to shy away from washing their hands.

“For the average person, one of the risks of gloves is that they might make you feel safe. So, when you feel safe, you’ve got your hands on things, then you will be touching all sorts of things. And when the gloves come off the question is would you wash your hands? What do you do with the gloves? How do you dispose off the gloves? So, you can get COVID-19 on the gloves and if you don’t dispose of it correctly and if you take the gloves of badly it can go into your hands and if you then, because you think you’ve been protected, don’t wash your hands, you know those could be the problems”

Meanwhile, Botswana has recorded its first three cases of the coronavirus. The country’s Health Minister Lemogang Kwape says the three people who tested positive for the virus are in quarantine and had recently travelled to Britain and Thailand.

Last week President Mokgweetsi Masisi warned citizens to prepare for a lockdown. Masisi is in 14-days of self-isolation after visiting Namibia last weekend, which has registered three cases of the coronavirus.

SAPS concerned about videos showing officers using excessive force during lockdown
30 March 2020, 9:11 PM

The South African Police Service says it is concerned about videos going viral of officers allegedly using excessive force on people who contravening the lockdown regulations.

National Police Spokesperson Vish Naidoo says although they still need to verify the aunthenticity of these videos, the alleged behavior is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated or condoned.

“We have impressed upon our members on the ground to act within the confines of the law; in enforcing the disaster management regulations. The regulations clearly outlines the actions that security forces may enforce or impose on the alleged transgressors. And the depiction in the circulation of the videos is definitely not one of the actions as outlined in the disaster management regulations,” says Naidoo.

Meanwhile, Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina has called for calm in Vosloorus, on the West Rand following the fatal shooting of a resident as his home on Monday. It is alleged that a scuffle ensued after EMPD officers tried to arrest people who were drinking liquor at a local tavern, flouting the lockdown regulations.

An Ekurhuleni Metro Police officer and a 45-year-old civilian have been arrested in connection with the shooting.

Mayoral Spokesperson Phakamile Mbengashe, says, “The Executive Mayor of the City of Ekurhuleni, Cllr Mzwandile Masina has today, called for calm in the City following the fatal shooting of a civilian in Vosloorus on Sunday, 29 March 2020. The South African Police Service and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate are currently investigating the matter.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa has cautioned security forces to ensure the safety of South Africans and not cause harm to them. There have been reports of alleged brutality by some SANDF members who have been deployed to support police to manage the nationwide lockdown.

“We have made it clear that the task of our security personnel is to support, to reassure and to comfort our people and to ensure that peace and order is maintained in our country. They know that they must act within the law at all times and that they must not cause harm to any of our people in any way whatsoever, all of us, South Africans, the 50 million of us.”

In the video below, Ramaphosa addresses the nation:


Ramaphosa addresses the nation of Day 4 of the lockdown
30 March 2020, 7:45 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa is addressing the nation on the measures currently being undertaken to contain the coronavirus pandemic. The address by the President follows a meeting of the National Command Council yesterday, which assessed the efficacy of the national lockdown which came into effect on Thursday 26 March 2020.




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