Jakarta postpones sports activities to stem Omicron transmission

Jakarta postpones sports activities to stem Omicron transmission

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan during a press conference regarding the postponement of the 2021 International Youth Championship (IYC) in Bali-Jakarta on Friday, December 3, 2021. (ANTARA/HO/rst)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Jakarta government has acted promptly to thwart the transmission of Omicron, the new variant of COVID-19, by postponing all sports and cultural activities involving several people and foreigners.

"It is better to take an anticipatory measure until we are all certain that the Omicron variant is under control," Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan noted in a press release received here, Saturday.

The regional government refers to the central government's decision to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant by strictly maintaining borders, activities from foreign countries, and limiting activities that can cause crowds.

Baswedan called on the people to stay vigilant amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially after the Omicron variant had emerged in various countries.

Following developments in the situation, the series of events during the 2021 Indonesia Youth Championship (IYC) tournament on December 4-11, including the soft launch for the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS) in North Jakarta, were postponed.

"We urge that the entire series of IYC 2021 tournaments at the Pancoran Soccer Field be suspended until the pandemic situation and the spread of the Omicron variant are brought under control," Baswedan remarked.

The governor also lauded all parties involved in organizing the 2021 IYC activities: the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), related ministries, the Bali provincial government, Regional-Owned Enterprises (BUMD), and various others.

"This postponement is aimed at maintaining the safety and health of all parties involved in the 2021 IYC and the soft launch of JIS to help control COVID-19 in Indonesia," he noted.

Meanwhile, Bali Governor Wayan Koster stated that the emergence of this new Omicron variant had become a matter of grave concern for the central government in anticipating its spread in Indonesia.

"Taking a cue from other countries, with high vaccination rates, that are experiencing a spike in terms of this Omicron variant, we must anticipate the threat, so it will not occur in Indonesia," the governor remarked.

Head of the Pancoran Soccer Field, Gede Widiade, explained that the decision to postpone the IYC 2021 Bali-Jakarta tournament had been coordinated with the three competing clubs.

These clubs had also given a confirmation letter to remain committed to participating in the International Youth Championship in 2022.

"We have informed our colleagues in Europe about the spread of this Omicron variant. We have also coordinated with the three clubs and with our partners in Dubai that this postponement is very difficult for the participating teams. They remain committed to participating in the following year," he explained.

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