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'Health bubble' system to be used in handball World Cup in Egypt

The Egyptian sports ministry has confirmed that a 'health bubble' system will be implemented during the handball World Cup in January, to ensure the safety of all participating teams.

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'Health bubble' system to be used in handball World Cup in Egypt
DPA vía Europa Press DPA vía Europa Press

Egypt's sports minister says the country's authorities have agreed with the International Handball Federation to implement a 'health bubble' system involving severe restrictive measures when it hosts the World Cup between 13 and 31 January, to ensure the safety of all national teams taking part in the event amidst the spread of covid-19.

Ashraf Sobhi said in a press conference that all teams will undergo covid-19 swabs before and after training and matches, and will avoid any kind of gatherings out of games' courts. "The system includes the hotel that will host the participating teams as no one will be allowed in or out of the hotel during the teams' stay," he said.

He also noted that each team will be taken straight from the airport to the hotel and will only be allowed to go to the courts where training and games are held. No one will be allowed to exit this 'bubble' unless they are leaving the country.

For his part, Dr. Hazem Khamis, the head of the World Cup medical committee, said that everyone involved in the process will undergo a covid-19 test every 48 hours (Except the teams that will undergo covid-19 swabs before and after training and matches) to ensure the early detection of any new case, assuring that the hotel set to host the participating teams includes fully-equipped rooms where the infection can be detected.

He also added that there will be hospitals nearby the hotel, with the process of moving a covid-19 carrier to the nearest hospital to take from 12 to 18 minutes.