Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali has affirmed that some cases of athletes testing positive for COVID-19 will not dampen the enthusiasm for the National Sports Week (PON) being held in Papua Province.

“I think they had been vaccinated before they came here. So, if there are one or two tested positive COVID-19, it is normal. No problem,” he said here on Monday during a visit to the Mimika Sport Centre, which houses arenas for sports such as athletics and basketball.

Athletes testing positive for COVID-19 will be immediately ordered to undergo a quarantine, while other athletes will continue with their daily activities, the minister said.

“It is impossible that we will immediately suspend the PON once an athlete is infected by COVID-19. The event has been already ongoing, even some have grabbed medals,” he stressed.

Hence, the cases of athletes testing positive will not dampen the PON drive, he said.

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“We have told in the technical meeting that athletes in any sports testing positive for COVID-19 must undergo self-isolation. Meanwhile, other athletes keep on going,” he added.

As reported earlier, two judo athletes from East Kalimantan, who were scheduled to return home, had to remain in Mimika, Papua after testing positive for COVID-19 in a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

East Kalimantan judo coach Adianoor confirmed that both—Melia Kubus and Eko Haryoo—have been hospitalized at a hospital in Mimika.

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“The schedule of the East Kalimantan judo team to return home falls on October 3, 2021. After undergoing PCR test, two of the three athletes tested positive for COVID-19 without any symptoms,” he informed.

He said that he took the decision to stay in Mimika so he could be with the two athletes until their departure to East Kalimantan.

“The two athletes have been scheduled to undergo PCR tests again. We have coordinated with the health team of the East Kalimantan’s National Sports Committee of Indonesia (KONI). Hopefully, there is a change of the PCR results and we can go home soon,” he added.eatures 37 sports.

The games were officially opened on October 2, 2021 though some sports had started competitions since the middle of September, 2021.

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Pewarta: J010
Editor: Fardah Assegaf