"The matches continue, while health protocols are enforced in accordance with the existing regulations," the minister noted in a statement here on Wednesday.
The first COVID-19 case during the PON in Papua was identified in Timika, and the figure has increased.
Based on information from the spokesman for Papua's COVID-19 Prevention and Handling Task Force (SGPP) Silwanus Sumule, a total of 29 people comprising athletes, officials, and organizing committee members, have been exposed to the virus so far.
Of the total, 13 people are in Timika, seven in Jayapura District, six in Jayapura City, and three in Merauke. The four places co-host the sport matches during the 20th PON.
Minister Amali revealed that he will discuss the matter of the COVID-19 cases with the Organizing Committee (PB) and the Supervisory and Steering Committee (Panwasrah) members of the PON XX.
"I will gather PON's Panwasrah and PB, along with all elements involved, in the attempts of minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission through various strategies, including strict enforcement of health protocols (prokes)," he remarked.
PON Papua has enforced strict health protocol measures on athletes and those involved in the sports games that are landing in Indonesia's easternmost province.
Each one of them is required to undergo PCR tests to detect COVID-19 infection.
"Let us trace the origin of this virus together, as before coming to Papua, all the contingents had undergone PCR tests," he added.
Athletes competing in events that involve body contact, such as wushu or wrestling, will be tested for antigen before the matches, the minister stated.
The sports games' spectators are required to wear masks, wash hands, and maintain distance. Only those who have been vaccinated, at least with the first shot, are allowed to physically watch the matches in local stadiums.
Related news: Some 29 COVID-19 cases in four PON XX clusters conduct self-isolation
Related news: PON XX Papua applies strict bubble to contain COVID-19 spread
Related news: New variant not yet confirmed in five infected athletes: official