National Games in Papua Feared to Spark Case Surge, Says Expert

29 September 2021 07:29 WIB

The host's gold medal score at the XX Papua PON 2021 continues to grow. Today Sunday (26/9) afternoon, the Papuan takraw team managed to add two gold medals from the men's and women's hoop numbers in the match at the Cendrawasih University GOR. (photo: raiky/kemenpora.go.id)

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Association of Epidemiologists head of profession development Masdalina Pane on Tuesday warned about a potential surge in Covid-19 cases from the 20th National Games (PON) in Papua despite the quadrennial sporting event being held under strict health protocols. 

Citing Antaranews, Masdalina revealed this in a webinar specifically discussing potential emergence of a third wave “Interactions among a large number of people during the PON event can potentially increase the number of Covid-19 cases.” 

She said Indonesia must reflect on a number of international scale sporting events such as the European Championship and Tokyo Olympics that were both held this year, which affected the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

The National Games (PON) in Papua is scheduled to be held in Jayapura City, Mimika District, and Merauke from October 2 - October 15 that will see athletes competing in 37 sports categories and involve roughly 10 thousand athletes, staff, and officials from 34 provinces. 

In the same event, the Covid-19 task force head of behavior changes Sonny Harry B. Harmadi assures that the government continues to increase its testing capacity in an attempt to mitigate this concern. The government has also restricted the access of international visitors to prevent the spread of new coronavirus variants from overseas. 

Read: Indonesian Minister Assures PON Papua Security

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