More COVID-19 cases detected, but Papua games continue: minister

More COVID-19 cases detected, but Papua games continue: minister

Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali. (ANTARA/Sihol Hasugian)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Despite several athletes contracting COVID-19, there has been no cancellation of competitions at the ongoing national games in Papua, Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali affirmed on Wednesday.

"There has been no significant disruption. Everything is running as planned. In general, the organizing committee members, athletes, coaches, and officials have complied with the COVID-19 health protocols," he said.

The organizing committee of the 20th PON National Games has taken precautionary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, he told participants at a webinar on the Papua games that the Jakarta Media Center held on Wednesday.

Those contracting the novel coronavirus disease have been handled well, he said. They have been isolated from their colleagues, he said, adding that the majority of them are asymptomatic.

Related news: Some 29 COVID-19 cases in four PON XX clusters conduct self-isolation

The PON is being held in Jayapura city and the districts of Jayapura, Mimika, and Merauke from October 2 to October 15, 2021.

At least 6,400 athletes and 3,500 officials from 34 provinces across Indonesia are reportedly participating in Papua's PON National Games, which features 37 sports branches.

ANTARA reported earlier that despite a conducive security situation, the Papua COVID-19 Task Force on Tuesday evening confirmed 29 COVID-19 cases in the four clusters organizing the Papua games.

The 29 people are conducting self-isolation at designated sites, including floating isolation centers aboard MV Tidar (Jayapura cluster) and MV Sirimau (Merauke cluster).

The 29 people exposed to the coronavirus include athletes, officials, and members of the event's organizing committee, the Papua COVID-19 Task Force spokesperson, Silwanus Sumule, said.

Related news: PON XX Papua applies strict bubble to contain COVID-19 spread

Meanwhile, sHouse of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Puan Maharani suggested that the implementation of health protocols at the Papua PON arenas be evaluated.

"An evaluation must be conducted of the health protocols at the Papua PON. We do not want to risk people's safety," she said while urging the organizers to isolate those who have contracted COVID-19.

Home Minister Tito Karnavian has issued an instruction to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus disease during the convening of Papua's PON National Games.

In his Ministerial Instruction No.46/2021, Karnavian has asked all athletes, officials, organizing committee members, and spectators to comply with strict COVID-19 health protocols during the multi-sport event.

Related news: New variant not yet confirmed in five infected athletes: official

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