WRC Safari Rally officials take first Covid-19 jab
WRC Safari Rally Kenya organisers believe the vaccination campaign for competitors and officials will go a long way in bolstering the much- needed confidence of visiting teams.
Safari CEO Phineas Kimathi remarked that adherence to the Ministry of Health protocols and those set by Appendix S (FIA's COVID-19 Code of Conduct) will mitigate the risks of transmissions that may arise during the staging of the ARC Equator Rally in late April and WRC Safari Rally in June.
In line with Appendix S, officials and competitors got their initial COVID-19 jab well in time for the upcoming two events.
The exercise facilitated by the Ministry of Health and coordinated by Ministry of Sports took place outside the WRC Safari Rally secretariat at Kasarani Stadium where several officials including Stage Commanders, Controllers, HODs, a group of the sports media personalities and KMSF Competition Licence Holders were vaccinated for COVID-19.
Among senior officials who got vaccinated in the exercise were Safari's Chief Safety Officer Noriss Ongalo, Clerk of the Course Gurvir Bhabra, Service Park Manager Anthony Gatei and Media Director Peter Njenga.
Safari Rally CEO Phineas Kimathi speaking during the vaccination campaign said: "The vaccination has kicked off very well. First and foremost, I would like to thank the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage Ambassador Amina Mohammed who has coordinated this exercise from her office and personally taken the initiative to launch this campaign yesterday (Thursday).
Today (Friday) we are here vaccinating all officials of the Safari Rally. As you very well know, the ARC Equator Rally is coming up in two and half weeks and it will act as a dry run of the WRC Safari Rally Kenya which returns to the global series after a 19 years hiatus. So we are quite excited about this exercise.
"CS Amina was represented by Rose Wacuka, Chief of Staff in the Sports Ministry.
Wacuka on her part, said: "This exercise began yesterday (Thursday) and is intended to keep the athletes safe as well as make sure they get the necessary COVID-19 protection because a lot of international organisers are insisting on vacations.
"Safari and Equator Rally Service Park Manager Anthony Gatei said: "Today we are being vaccinated for COVID-19 which gives us the cut-off of 8 weeks so that we will again be vaccinated within the first week of June.
This will definitely strengthen our immunity so that by the time our guests come for the WRC in June, we will have all taken our second dose, and we will be hopefully in good shape.
What we are trying to do is have zero contact; that we will be living In a bubble so the officials running the event will live together, they will go to service park together.
And when the competitors leave we will ensure we have sanitised the whole area, therefore just keeping everyone safe and following all the Covid protocols of the MOH and also the FIA.
We have an Appendix S that we are also following. Appendix S has created two kinds of bubbles, one of them being the High Density Area where officials will be allowed to access."
Ongalo said: "By running this initial exercise, we want to ensure that our guests feel safe and are coming into an environment where the necessary steps have been taken to mitigate risks of transmission.
We also have to ensure our team is ready and healthy enough to undertake their responsibilities on Safari."