Construction work at the venues for this multi-sport event could not be continued partly owing to the shortage of building materials in Papua, Youth and Sports Minister Zainuddin Amali informed journalists here, Thursday.
The construction material available was insufficient since supplies from outside Papua were hindered by the imposition of travel restriction and social restriction measures in Papua, he explained.
"In addition, several construction workers employed for this venue construction project also come from outside Papua," he pointed out, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic afflicting several parts of the world had also made it difficult to procure sports equipment.
The National Games was initially scheduled to be held from Oct 20 to Nov 2, 2020, but the government decided to postpone its convening, he told the journalists after joining a video conference chaired by President Jokowi to discuss matters related to the convening of PON.
The Papua provincial administration, in a bid to break the chain of the coronavirus disease, has extended large-scale social restrictions in the province until May 6 in the wake of a continued rise in the number of residents diagnosed with COVID-19.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the province currently reaches 124, Papua Deputy Governor Klemen Tinal remarked after a coordination meeting on Wednesday with the Papua Provincial Legislative Council chairman, Papua Provincial Police chief, and commander of the Cenderawasih Regional Military Command XVII.
Related news: Jakarta Emergency Hospital records rise in COVID-19 inpatients
The second phase of large-scale social restrictions will begin on April 24 and end on May 6, he revealed, adding that Papua is currently ranked sixth in terms of the number of coronavirus cases in Indonesia.
Nationwide, Papua currently ranks below Bali in terms of the number of COVID-19 cases, he pointed out.
Tinal believes that despite the high number of COVID-19 positive patients, Papua has the highest recovery rate of 27 percent among the country's 34 provinces.
To this end, the Papua vice governor remains optimistic that all members of the community would be disciplined and serious in adhering to the government's directives to contain the transmission of COVID-19 by stopping activities until 2 p.m. local time. Related news: Government postpones National Sport Week in Papua until October 2021
Related news: Papua Stadium ready to hold PON 2020
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