TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has asked the concerned agencies to inoculate all athletes and officials participating in Papua's 2021 PON National Games and the National Para Games (Peparnas) by October this year, stated Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali on Tuesday
"In addition to the athletes and officials, locals living near all venues of the multi-sport events and athlete villages must also get vaccinated," said the Minister.
Speaking at an online press conference shortly after attending a limited cabinet meeting with the President, Amali said mass vaccination drives for the targeted recipients need to be intensified.
To this end, mass vaccinations will be ramped up in Papua province to achieve the government's target of inoculating all targeted recipients by August, 2021, he informed.
Papua's 2021 PON National Games are scheduled to take place from October 2 - October 15 this year, while the National Para Games (Peparnas) will be held from November 2 - November 15, he added.
Amali further said that according to the reports he has received so far, all athletes, coaches, officials, and support staff members from the 33 provinces joining this year's multi-sport events have been vaccinated.
Asked about whether sports enthusiasts will be able to physically attend the two multi-sport events, he said the government will take a decision on this in September this year.
The Indonesian government had earlier hinted that it plans to go ahead with the scheduled convening of the two events though the country is battling a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Over the past few weeks, Jakarta, Papua, West Papua, and several other Indonesian provinces have been striving to cope with a severe second wave of COVID-19 infections, driven by the more transmissible Delta variant of the virus.
Despite the alarming resurgence in COVID-19 cases, which has forced the government to impose emergency public activity restrictions for 18 days from July 3, 2021 in Java and Bali, preparations for Papua's sports events have continued.
Commander of the XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Command, Maj.Gen. Ignatius Yogo Triyono, recently visited Timika, the capital of Mimika district, to review the construction of facilities for the two multi-sport events.
Timika has been selected as one of the co-hosts for the PON National Games besides Jayapura City and the districts of Jayapura and Merauke.