JAKARTA - The Minister of Youth and Sports (Menpora) Zainudin Amali explained the anticipation efforts to handle National Sports Week (PON) athletes in Papua if exposed to COVID-19. Given, the implementation of this sports event was carried out in the midst of a pandemic that is still happening in the country.

"What if suddenly someone is affected, is there a positive? Of course, the committee has prepared steps to deal with it and there is a hospital", Amali said in an online press conference after holding a limited meeting with President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), Tuesday, July 13.

Amali said that later athletes and officials who were exposed to COVID-19 would be treated at referral hospitals around the venue and lodging.

Although he has prepared a number of anticipatory steps, Amali ensures that the athletes and officials participating in the Papua PON are free from COVID-19. This is because they will first carry out a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and must take vaccinations.

Moreover, the Minister of Youth and Sports believes that the endurance of the athletes is better so that even if someone is exposed to COVID-19, the healing will be faster.

Meanwhile, Minister For Public Works and Human Settlements (PUPR) Basuki Hadimuljono said later the government would prepare self-isolation places around the match venues to anticipate the spread of COVID-19. The reason is that the referral hospital around the location of the sporting event is limited and only in Biak.

"We will prepare, anticipating first if the isolation is not going to a hospital, so the type of isolation (independent, red)", said Basuki at the same press conference.

As previously reported, the PON plan will be held from October 2 to October 15. Meanwhile, National Paralympic Week (Peparnas) will be held a month later or from November 2 to November 15.

The implementation of the PON is carried out in four regions in Papua, namely Jayapura City, Mimika Regency, and Merauke Regency. There are 37 sports that will be competed with a total of 6.400 athletes and 3.500 officials.

Meanwhile, Peparnas is only carried out in two areas, namely Jayapura City and Jayapura Regency. There were 12 sports that were competed and 1.935 athletes and 740 officials participated.

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