Residents wishing to watch PON at venues have not other choices but must be vaccinatedJakarta (ANTARA) - The 2020 National Sports Week (PON) XX which is scheduled for October 2-15, 2021 in Papua province will likely be held without spectators at venues due to the high risk of COVID-19 infection in host cities.
The Health Ministry has drafted a health manual which calls for strict adherence to health protocols during the PON. However, the ministry has recommended that the PON be held without spectators at venues as part of efforts to prevent a cluster of COVID-19 transmission in Papua, according to appendix to the outcome of a coordination meeting between the event’s organizing committee and relevant ministries and institutions held online on Friday and a copy of which was made available to Antara on Sunday.
The Health Ministry recommended that only athletes, coaches, officials, organizers and liaison officers have access to sports venues during the PON.
The recommendation is based on the relatively low COVID-19 vaccination rate for people living near the PON venues.
According to data from the Papua Provincial Health Office, the COVID-19 vaccination coverage for the first and second shots in Jayapura city reached 47 percent and 29.6 percent respectively as of August 26, 2021. Meanwhile, the figures were recorded at 43.9 percent and 27.4 percent respectively for Jayapura district.
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The vaccination coverage for the first and second jabs in Mimika reached 43.6 percent and 29.6 percent respectively and in Merauke stood at 48.6 percent and 31.8 percent each.
The central government has set itself the target of completing the COVID-19 vaccination of residents in the four regions hosting the PON in September 2021.
President Joko Widodo has earlier ordered the vaccination of people living near the PON venues ahead of the quadrennial multi-sport event to be held from October 2 to 15 this year.
While observing the vaccination of local residents ahead of PON XX along with National Defense Forces (TNI) Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo on Friday (Aug 27) , Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali said residents wishing to watch PON at venues must be vaccinated first.
“Residents wishing to watch PON at venues have not other choices but must be vaccinated,” he said.
However, it is for President Joko Widodo to decide whether or not to allow spectators at PON venues only in September .
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General Listyo Sigit Prabowo said earlier the handling of COVID-19 in Papua will require extraordinary effort to maintain the sloping rate of positive cases and anticipate any spike during the 2020 PON..
The National Police chief made the statement during a meeting on Saturday with military commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and the Mimika District Regional Leadership Coordination Forum (Forkopimda) on the preparation for the 2020 Papua PON.
"The sloping rate of positive cases after the spike on August 8, 2021 has to be maintained with extraordinary attempts. Do not let the increase happen when the 2020 Papua PON is being held," he urged, according to a press statement received here on Saturday.
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