England manager Gareth Southgate has highlighted a serious problem with Spur’s super striker Harry Kane. Harry is tired, as Southgate explained when subbing him in the 80th minute in an international friendly match against Switzerland. The English captain looked very lacklustre and was not his previous sharp self. He has played a mentally and physically draining 61 games since the beginning of last season! I have noted over the past few weeks that Harry is not the player he was last year when he averaged 5.4 shots per game. This season his shot rate has dropped to 2.5 per game. What marks Kane out from the ordinary strikers is that he positions his body early and takes a shot first time without needing to set up the ball. I have also discovered that Harry has been affected since he rolled his ankle in a tackle with Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Begovich went for the ball, missed and accidentally buckled Kane’s right ankle under his left leg. Harry left the pitch minutes later and left the stadium wearing a plastic protective boot. It has been suggested to me that Harry is now more protective of his legs, ankles and feet and is not showing that natural quick fire shooting ability. He is not achieving that skill with quite as much directness and focus.
Willian to stay but Fabrigas could leave
Following two failed attempts to sign him by Barcelona and Manchester United, Chelsea midfielder Willian has said he wants to stay with the Blues for another five years. He wants a five-year contract. However, it is club policy that any player over 30 years of age is given a 12-month contract and that was agreed by owner of the club himself. Chelsea told Barca that they would have to pay £70million if they wanted the Brazilian but the Spanish giants turned that down. Meanwhile, the two Milan clubs, AC and Inter, have had scouts watching Cesc Fabrigas and have contacted his agent with a view to have the Spanish midfielder go to Italy. Cesc has not featured in new manager Mauricio Sarri’s plans and he has not even started a game this season. Cesc is keeping quiet at the moment but I know he won’t put up with this situation much longer. When I spoke to the club they would not commit on whether Cesc stays or leaves but at the same time they did not say he would definitely be staying which indicates that if a good offer comes along they would probably sell him.
Dele should be okay
Tottenham tell me that Dele Alli should be fit for this weekend’s big game against Liverpool. He withdrew from the England squad this week after picking up a minor strain against Spain and did not feature in the midweek game against Switzerland. With both Spurs and England, Dele has been working hard on his ball retention and also his work rate and positioning off the ball.
No problem between Pogba and Mourinho
The rumour gossip surrounding the relationship between Manchester United’s record signing Paul Pogba and manager Jose Mourinho never seems to slow down. This time it is Paul trying to simmer down the situation. He claims there is no problem between him and Mourhino but hinted that they are not particularly friends and have a pure coach/player relationship. Speaking after France drew with World Cup disaster team Germany, he said he quite clearly: “It is not me talking. I am trying to work on myself physically. I got back late from the World Cup so I am trying to perform as well as I can. I’m just trying to do my job.”
Paul was warned last month that he would be fined if he talked freely abut his relationship with Mourinho however, when questioned about his future at United he would only say: “My future is currently in Manchester. I still have a contract. I’m playing there at the moment, but who knows what will happen in the next few months.” I suspect that behind all this is his agent Mino Raiola who stands to make a few more millions if Pogba is transferred again so he keeps the rumours active. It has been suggested that Raiola always saw Paul’s transfer to United as a three-year project with his ‘client’ then moving to Spain and either Madrid or Barcelona. Nothing has been said to disprove that theory so it could happen next year.
Update on Tottenham v Liverpool
I spoke with Tottenham about Argentinian Erik Lamela’s hamstring injury this week and was told that manager Mauricio Pochettino expects to have him fit for the big game of the weekend against Liverpool. He is responding well to treatment after feeling a very painful stress of the hamstring during the warm up before the 3-0 win against Manchester United. I then called Man City and enquired about Raheem Sterling’s back injury and was again given positive news. The City winger striker was forced to miss England games against Spain and Switzerland after feeling pain during City’s 2-1 win against Newcastle. City’s medical team took over and agreed with the FA that he should remain at the club for treatment and not go to the England national team headquarters for an assessment. City medical staff said they thought a two week lay off would cure the problem.
Marathon man Enrique
Perhaps the Chelsea players should be pleased that Mauricio Sarri took over at the Blues and not Luis Enrique. He now manages the Spanish national squad and has laid down new rules of behaviour. He believes in discipline and has banned mobile phone calls during meals, they are not even allowed on the table, no free time and no family visits between games. Luis is a fitness fanatic and loves cycling. He even took part in Germany’s 2007 Ironman competition. He has run marathons in New York, Amsterdam and Florence. He even took a medical of fitness levels when the team took their tests and nuitritionist Antonio Escribano said, “He is 48 years old but he is fit enough to play!”.
Changing tactics at Arsenal
Arsenal’s midfielder Hector Bellerin said this week that playing under new manager Unai Emery is like playing for a different club. He said he was sad that many of the long established regular staff had left the club. However, he said the club feels regenerated and thinks success is just around the corner. One of the most interesting comments concerned tactics. Under previous manager Arsene Wenger, the team never changed tactics from week to week. Arsene believed his team could beat anybody and their style never needed to change. Under Emery, hours are spent watching videos, planning and changing team tactics and everything is different each week to cope with the different playing styles of their opponents.
New Chelsea keeper settling in
Kepa Arrizabalaga, the Blues new goalkeeper at Stamford Bridge, has been speaking about his move from Bilbao to replace Thibaut Courtois between the posts at Chelsea. He said the move was made easy because he already knew Alvaro Morata and Cesar Azpilicueta and they have helped him settle in more quickly. After his world record-breaking transfer fee of £72.5million for a goalkeeper he has seen Chelsea win their four opening games and kept two clean sheets. I asked if he was scared of the big price tag and he said, “ The fee is because of the football market…it is like that. Higher and higher fees are being paid now. I focus on my own game and I play. I’m happy for Chelsea to have made the decision to sign me and to pay that amount and I am looking forward to repaying them on the field. I choose Chelsea because they have such great players and in recent years have won the Champion’s League, Europa Cup and Premier League title – it is a team with great players.” Kepa is being tipped to challenge Man Utd’s David de Gea as the Spanish goalkeeper although, with genuine honesty, Kepa says that David is a great goalkeeper.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
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.
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.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
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
Drastic life changes affecting mental health
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.
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.
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.