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Resurgent Djokovic leads the way as old guard stays on top – PHOTOS

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Next Gen poster boy Alexander Zverev’s season-ending Tour Finals triumph served up a glimpse into the future of men’s tennis although 2018 remained a year dominated once more by the usual, yet aging, suspects as a revitalised Novak Djokovic returned to the peak of his powers.

The Serb tumbled out of the top 10 for the first time in a decade and was ranked as lowly as 22nd in June, slumping to a string of uncharacteristic defeats – including an embarrassing loss to Italian journeyman Marco Cecchinato at the French Open – following elbow surgery to fix a lingering injury.

Germany's Alexander Zverev holds up the trophy after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in their men's singles final match on day eight of the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London on November 18, 2018. Alexander Zverev shocked Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 to win the ATP Finals on Sunday, denying the Serbian world number one a record-equalling sixth title in London. PHOTO | GLYN KIRK |

Germany’s Alexander Zverev holds up the trophy after beating Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in their men’s singles final match on day eight of the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London on November 18, 2018. Alexander Zverev shocked Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 to win the ATP Finals on Sunday, denying the Serbian world number one a record-equalling sixth title in London. PHOTO | GLYN KIRK |AFP

Over the next few months though Djokovic surged back to his all-conquering best, sweeping to Wimbledon and US Open crowns and completing a historic Masters sweep with an elusive victory in Cincinnati.

“There was always part of me that believed I could make it back and I never thought it was impossible,” Djokovic said of his climb back to world number one.

“It turned to out to be a perfect five months of the year, with two Grand Slam titles.”

Roger Federer continued to defy his advancing years as he defended his Australian Open title and then eclipsed Andre Agassi as the oldest top-ranked player in ATP history, at the age of 36.

Switzerland's Roger Federer holds the winner's trophy after beating Croatia's Marin Cilic in their men's singles final match on day 14 of the Australian Open tournament in Melbourne on January 28, 2018. PHOTO | SAEED KHAN |

Switzerland’s Roger Federer holds the winner’s trophy after beating Croatia’s Marin Cilic in their men’s singles final match on day 14 of the Australian Open tournament in Melbourne on January 28, 2018. PHOTO | SAEED KHAN |AFP

Rafael Nadal dominated in typical fashion on clay, swaggering to an 11th Roland Garros title, but the injury-plagued Spaniard limped out of two other Grand Slams before further fitness problems curtailed his season.

Spain's Rafael Nadal plays a backhand return to Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro during their men's singles semi-final match on day thirteen of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 8, 2018. PHOTO | ERIC FEFERBERG |

Spain’s Rafael Nadal plays a backhand return to Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro during their men’s singles semi-final match on day thirteen of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 8, 2018. PHOTO | ERIC FEFERBERG |AFP
He played in just nine tournaments, his fewest since 2002, yet still won five titles and compiled a commanding 45-4 record.

Serena Williams returned to the court after her 14-month maternity leave, battling back from life-saving surgery, but twice fell agonisingly short of landing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam crown.

She required a series of operations to free her from the risk of blood clots in the wake of giving birth to her daughter in September 2017, a scare that prompted her to sport an eye-catching black catsuit at Roland Garros.

In this handout photo provided by the French Tennis Federation (FFT) Serena Williams of the US gives a press conference as she announces her withdrawal from the French Open through injury, at Rolland Garros tennis complex in Paris on June 4, 2018. PHOTO | PAULINE BALLET |

In this handout photo provided by the French Tennis Federation (FFT) Serena Williams of the US gives a press conference as she announces her withdrawal from the French Open through injury, at Rolland Garros tennis complex in Paris on June 4, 2018. PHOTO | PAULINE BALLET |AFP
She finished runner-up at both Wimbledon and the US Open, but it was the nature of her defeat in New York that will stick in the memory after a meltdown in the final against Japan’s Naomi Osaka.

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Williams erupted after a code violation for receiving coaching from her box, and subsequently called chair umpire Carlos Ramos a “liar and a thief” after she incurred a one-point penalty for racquet abuse.

Serena Williams of the US argues with chair umpire Carlos Ramos while playing Naomi Osaka of Japan during their 2018 US Open women's singles final match on September 8, 2018 in New York. PHOTO | KENA BENTACUR |

Serena Williams of the US argues with chair umpire Carlos Ramos while playing Naomi Osaka of Japan during their 2018 US Open women’s singles final match on September 8, 2018 in New York. PHOTO | KENA BENTACUR |AFP
The American later described the decision to then hit her with a game penalty following her tear-filled tirade as “sexist”.

An astonishingly poised Osaka held her nerve to seal victory and become the first Japanese woman to win a Grand Slam singles title, but the 20-year-old was reduced to tears when a pro-Williams crowd booed the trophy ceremony announcers.

Fortunately, Williams gracefully intervened and called for them to show the young champion respect.

In a season of firsts, Simona Halep eased the pain of three previous major finals defeats, to follow in the footsteps of her manager Virginia Ruzici, 40 years on, by claiming the French Open championship.

Simona Halep of Romania celebrates with the trophy after her victory against Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic in their women's singles final match at the WTA Shenzhen Open tournament in Shenzhen in China's southern Guangdong province January 6, 2018. PHOTO | AFP |

Simona Halep of Romania celebrates with the trophy after her victory against Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic in their women’s singles final match at the WTA Shenzhen Open tournament in Shenzhen in China’s southern Guangdong province January 6, 2018. PHOTO | AFP |

Caroline Wozniacki’s patience yielded her maiden Grand Slam triumph too, the Dane taking the Australian Open title to briefly return to world number one.
However, she later revealed her battle with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease which causes swelling of the joints and fatigue, following her diagnosis ahead of the US Open.

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki celebrates beating Romania's Simona Halep in their women's singles final match on day 13 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 27, 2018. PHOTO | SAEED KHAN | AFP

Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki celebrates beating Romania’s Simona Halep in their women’s singles final match on day 13 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 27, 2018. PHOTO | SAEED KHAN | AFP

Angelique Kerber completed the third leg of a career Grand Slam by battering past Williams to become the first German woman to win Wimbledon since Steffi Graf in 1996.

Germany's Angelique Kerber celebrates after victory over Russia's Maria Sharapova in their women's singles third round match on day six of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 20, 2018. PHOTO | PAUL CROCK |

Germany’s Angelique Kerber celebrates after victory over Russia’s Maria Sharapova in their women’s singles third round match on day six of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 20, 2018. PHOTO | PAUL CROCK |AFP

The season also marked the end of the 118-year Davis Cup in its traditional format, with a revamped version of the competition next November bringing together 18 nations in one place for a week.

Kevin Anderson’s 26-24 defeat of John Isner in the fifth set of this year’s Wimbledon semi-finals prompted another rethink, leading the All England Club to introduce a tie-break to settle matches that reach 12-all in the decider.

“It is bucking tradition but I think a lot of people believe that is not a bad thing,” Isner said in the wake of the rule change.

Similarly, a 10-point tie-break will be used in the final set at the Australian Open, where Federer will eye his 100th career title.



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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

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Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

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However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health

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Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

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Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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