PON athletes, officials regularly undergo COVID testing: Health Office

To prevent COVID-19 transmission, medical personnel must conduct regular swab tests on athletes and officials at the Papua National Sports Week (PON), Head of the Merauke Health Office dr. Nevile Muskita has said.

According to Muskita, such steps should be taken, especially since five PON athletes and officials have tested positive for COVID-19 in Merauke as of October 5, 2021.

“Those who are tested positive are from Jayapura, East Java, Yogyakarta, and Central Kalimantan. If we look at the time, I think they were infected in their hometown,” Muskita said as quoted by InfoPublik on Friday.

Aside from regularly conducting testing, he said that it is essential for Merauke residents to consistently comply with the health protocols.

“It is even better to get vaccinated soon because the vaccine strengthens our immunity. Therefore, even if you get infected by the virus, your condition can still be helped. Let’s ensure that after PON, there will be no new clusters formed, and the situation in Merauke will remain safe,” he added.

Earlier, an official from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Asep Chaerudin, affirmed that the Central COVID-19 Handling Task Force, along with the task forces of Jayapura city, Jayapura district, Mimika district, as well as Merauke district, have been educating the public about the health protocols since before PON XX started.

He informed that to raise public awareness on health protocols, the agency has distributed 1,125,173 pieces of masks as of October 6, 2021.

The XX Papua National Sports Week (PON) 2021 is being held from October 2 to October 15, 2021. At least 6,400 athletes and 3,500 officials from 34 provinces across Indonesia are participating in the National Games, which feature 37 sports.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) officially opened the event at the Lukas Enembe Stadium, Sentani, Jayapura, Papua, on Saturday (October 2, 2021). However, competitions for some sports had started earlier, in the middle of September 2021.

Source: Antara News

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