Implications of COVID-19 for resumption of sport in South Africa: A South African Sports Medicine Association (SASMA) position statement – Part 2


The lockdown regulations due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) that broke out towards the end of 2019 and continued to spread throughout most countries in the world had a negative effect on the sporting community. The South African government eased the lockdown rules to Level 1 from 21 September 2020. In Part 2 of this Position Statement of the South African Sports Medicine Association (SASMA), the authors address the position regarding the safe return to sports for athletes who were infected by the virus. An update on clinical manifestations and multi-organ involvement, testing for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), prolonged positive real time polymerase chain reaction (RT- PCR) and the role of quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) in informing return to sports, grading of disease severity, individualised management of infected athletes and graduated return to play guidelines (GRTP) is provided. The authors also share thoughts on athletes with disabilities, immunisation, the using of masks during exercise and utilising biologically safe environments (BSE). Finally the SASMA Guidelines for Safe RTP in Level 1 lockdown during SARS-Cov-2 are introduced.

Author Biographies

Christa Janse van Rensburg, Section Sports Medicine, University of Pretoria, International Netball Federation, Manchester, United Kingdom

HOD Section Sports Medicine, University of Pretoria

Medical Board Member, International Netball Federation

Lervasen Pillay, Section Sports Medicine, University of Pretoria

Sports Physician for Pirates, and medical officer for Professional Soccer League

Pierre Viviers, Campus Health Service, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa , FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence, South Africa

HOD at Institute of Sports and Exercise division, Stellenbosch University.

Phatho Zondi, SASCOC

Chairperson - Medical Advisory Committee

  • Abstract 436
  • PDF (position statement) 156
  • PDF (supplementary) 43
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Position Statement