Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) - Ahead of the opening ceremony of Papua's 20th PON National Games on Saturday, 2nd October, National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo conducted his final inspection by visiting several sporting venues in Jayapura City. During his working visit, along with Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali, on Thursday, General Prabowo ensured the multi-sport event would run in an orderly, secure and protected manner.

For the opening ceremony, the organizing committee prepared two spectacular firework displays at the Lukas Enembe Stadium and the Youtefa Bridge.

Despite the fact the event’s opening ceremony will take place on Saturday, 2nd October, many participating athletes have already competed in several events.

As a result, several provinces have won medals. As of Thursday at 09:00 Western Indonesia Time (WIB), Jakarta still topped the preliminary medal table with 34 medals, with 17 golds, eight silvers and nine bronzes.

The second position was secured by Papua, with a total of 25 medals (13 golds, three silvers and nine bronzes) while the third, fourth and fifth positions were filled by West Java, East Java and Bali.

The Papua games, co-hosted by Jayapura City and the districts of Jayapura, Mimika, and Merauke from 2nd to 15th October, is witnessing the participation of some 6,400 athletes and 3,500 officials from 34 provinces across Indonesia.

The athletes are competing in 37 events, including Pencak Silat (Indonesia's traditional martial arts), Wushu (China's traditional martial arts), soccer, athletics, swimming, diving, badminton and archery.

The sporting venues inspected by General Prabowo ahead of the official opening ceremony were the tennis court, soccer field and diving pool.

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During his visit, he reviewed the use of the PeduliLindungi surveillance application at the sporting venues, as part of the government's COVID-19 prevention and mitigation efforts. He also reviewed the security details.

Prabowo appealed to the organizing committee of the 20th PON National Games to keep highlighting the importance of complying with health protocols through loudspeakers.

Home Minister Tito Karnavian earlier asked all athletes, officials, organizing committee members and spectators to comply with strict COVID-19 health protocols during the start of the event.

Karnavian's Ministerial Instruction No.46/2021 was announced by the Home Ministry's regional administration management director-general, Safrizal, in a statement received by ANTARA in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Complying with health protocols is key to making the country's biggest multi-sports event successful, Safrizal stressed.

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According to the ministerial instruction, all participating athletes, officials, organizing committee members, spectators and locals living near sporting venues must get vaccinated.

They must all take at least the first COVID-19 shot, he said, adding the number of spectators will be restricted and a viewing gathering, locally known as "nonton bareng," has been prohibited.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 during Papua's 20th PON National Games, authorities must ensure that guests, as well as spectators, can show valid PCR or antigen test results.

All guests and visitors will also be required to carry bonafide vaccination certificates, Safrizal stated, adding medical facilities with healthcare workers have been set up in certain areas to serve those in need.

Related news: Papua PON: spectators required to get fully vaccinated

The Home Ministry is, therefore, working with government agencies, such as health offices, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), COVID-19 task force, and the PON National Games organizing committee, he affirmed.

As part of the implementation of the “3M” health protocols, the Home Ministry is intensifying its campaign to encourage people to wear face-masks in cities that will co-host the Games, he further said.

Regarding Papua's security condition, Papua Police Chief Inspector-General Mathius Fakhiri earlier said armed Papuan terrorists' security disturbances would not disrupt the Games.

Therefore, as announced in a statement he made on 14th September, 2021, Fakhiri appealed to participating athletes and officials to not worry, as some 8,000 security personnel would secure the event.

The security situations in four regions co-hosting the PON National Games remain stable, as they are far away from areas frequently disrupted by the armed Papuan separatist terrorists, he added.

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As well as the Papua police's security guarantee, the Indonesian Sports Council (KONI)-Jakarta office has adopted preventive measures by assigning 20 police officers in Jakarta's contingent.

The involvement of police officers from the Jakarta Metropolitan Police in the contingent aims to protect and secure officials, coaches and 735 athletes competing in Papua.

The KONI-Jakarta Office has also for the assistance of navy personnel at the Indonesian Naval Base (Lantamal) I, XI, and Mimika to protect the contingent, according to KONI-Jakarta Office Head Djamhuron Wibowo.

The office set a target of winning the Papua Games with 171 gold medals, he added.

Papua's 20th PON National Games, which can finally be held after being delayed for one year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, is a milestone in Indonesia's history.

Related news: Armed terrorists' security disturbances will not disrupt PON: Police

Editor: Suharto
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