Junior athletes in isolation in Kenya 'comfortable', says teamMonday, August 30, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
There is optimism that the nine Jamaican athletes who were forced to remain in Nairobi, Kenya, after testing positive for COVID-19 during the recent World Athletics Under-20 Championships will be able to return home later this week.
The athletes, one of whom celebrated a birthday yesterday, along with the two medical doctors assigned to the delegation, David Walcott and Marlon Reid, and a member of the coaching staff had stayed behind after the championships ended two Sundays ago as the nine had to go into isolation and return negative tests before they were allowed to return home.
Dr Reid, who spoke to the Jamaica Observer yesterday, reported that the delegation was “comfortable” and was “provided with meals three times per day at the facility where they are being quarantined”, and added that they had supplemented the meals with regular “grocery runs” and trips to the local KFC outlet.
“These grocery runs and supplemental meals help to abate any psychological stress that may be experienced during quarantine,” Dr Reid said.
He reported that “none of the athletes is exhibiting any warning symptoms,” and that “the first athlete who tested positive did a repeat PCR on (Saturday) which was negative. The athlete will repeat another PCR in 48 hours as per protocol. If negative, the athlete will be out of quarantine.” The status of the others was not disclosed, but each has to test negative to be eligible to leave later this week.
To the best of his knowledge, he told the Observer “there are athletes from other countries who tested positive for COVID-19 and had to remain in Kenya.”
Dr Reid said Juliette Parkes-Livermore and Michael McIntosh, the team managers who have since returned to the island, have kept in touch daily via a WhatsApp group and “provide daily words and quotes on motivation and inspiration.”
He thanked the honourable consulate Sue Omonga and Francine Staples who, he said, provided “support for the Jamaican team whilst in Kenya” as well as “all the Jamaicans residing in Kenya for their continued support”.