Just eight days after testing positive for covid-19, Uganda’s U17 Women national team coach Ayub Khalifa Kiyingi has recovered.
“Having been tested positive for covid-19 and went into self-isolation with the guidance of the medics, I have now fully recovered and proven negative after undergoing further tests”.
“I have now been cleared to continue with my daily chores. I will rejoin the national U17 Women camp preparing for the FIFA World cup qualifier against Cameroon” read part of the statement the coach posted on official social media platforms of the federation of Uganda football associations.
But in a country whose Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda lasted the mandatory isolation days after a covid scare, the coach’s return has been received with mixed reaction.
Sports journalists as expected have responded the most.
“Never joke with African immunity” read one of the posts on a very vibrant WhatsApp group that talks 80% local football. That opened a round of opinions.
“How long did Trump spend in isolation if I could be reminded” asked a senior fella on the group. His answer from a peer was “Isolation or hospital!!!? Total 10 days”.Other journalists cited “immunity” while another summarized it. “Dude’s antibodies worked some magic” and completed his opinion with an emoji 👌🏾.
But all these aren’t doctors. So what do the health practitioners say?
Sam Nyanzi, a middle-aged physician in downtown Kampala says “14 days for total healing but even seven if he got proper treatment then he can be discharged.If soap can kill the virus, how about medication”.
But a practitioner (who preferred anonymity) working with the covid-19 treatment center at Mulago national referral differed.”We need to use Ayub as a case study because his for Uganda ranks up there as one of the quickest recoveries”.But my advice is he should be restricted ‘direct’ interactions with the players for a few more days”.
A comprehensive female nurse with a private entity along Entebbe road on the outskirts of the Ugandan capital Kampala knows that “it depends on his immunity” but test after test must be done on him just to be sure he doesn’t infect the girls in the camp.
For the federation, Ayub Khalifa’s recovery is timely because he has presided over several successes in women’s football. His return will boost the team that plays Cameroon at home on 31 October before the return a fortnight ‘away’.
To this stage, Uganda exited Ethiopia and Tanzania and will hope that star players Juliet Nalukenge and Fauziah Najjemba are on the song to write history as the first Ugandan team to play at a football world cup when the action gets underway in India.