Chan 2021: Phiri reveals Zambia's strict coronavirus measures ahead of Tanzania showdown

Zambia undergo Covid-19 tests.
Chipolopolo have already taken Covid-19 tests before officially starting their campaign in the tournament

Zambia national team doctor George Phiri has explained how they have implemented Caf’s coronavirus regulations ahead of African Nations Championship opener against Tanzania.

Chipolopolo and Taifa Stars will be the first Group D teams to take to the pitch at 19:00 before Guinea and Namibia clash later on at 22:00.

“Each player has hand sanitisers, each room has a bottle of hand sanitiser, we also encourage the players to regularly wash their hands because that is one of the important guidelines,” Phiri was quoted as saying by FAZ Facebook page.

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“Furthermore, the players are encouraged to maintain social distancing to avoid contamination and close contact to each other and since they are already in single rooms that is also a plus to us to ensure that we even minimise contact with each other except during training.”

Zambia players and the technical bench underwent coronavirus tests and are now awaiting the results to come out.

Caf requires that participants are tested 48 hours before games and after Chipolopolo have done them they are now awaiting the results.

“We were doing the medical accreditation for all the players and officials. We have finished the process and just awaiting the results,” the doctor revealed.

“We have Caf medical guidelines with regards to Covid-19, that is very important. Amongst the guidelines which we have advised the players to always be masked up except maybe during training and when they are having warm-up and meals.”

It was not the first time Zambian members were tested as they have had such tests done since they arrived in late December for a pre-Chan tournament that also involved Niger, Cameroon and Uganda.

Caf regulations need a minimum of 11 players to test negative for a team to be allowed to participate.

In an interview, midfielder Bruce Musakanya stated how preparations have made them confident ahead of the Tanzania clash.

“It is very important to start with a win in a tournament, it gives you confidence with the coming games especially that we are playing our neighbours Tanzania,” the Zesco United midfielder said.

“It will not be easy, but we just need to work extra hard and get the win.

“We have been preparing well for the game against Tanzania, the mini-tournament we had and friendlies have [helped us] see where we are. We are preparing and we have learnt the mistakes that we have had and have worked on them."

Guinea and Namibia are the other teams in Group D.