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COVID-19 WATCH

Gov’t studying PBA request to resume games

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The government is studying the proposal submitted by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) which seeks to allow the resumption its 45th season, the Department of Health (DoH) said Wednesday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said allowing contact sports is still being discussed by experts and government officials, following a PBA-board approved protocols sent last week to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

“At the present, experts are still discussing their recommendations regarding contact sports such as basketball,” Vergeire said in a televised briefing.

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial previously expressed optimism that the league will restart operations and hold a conference this year which has lost a significant amount of revenue due to the stoppage.

The PBA proposal sent to the IATF included provisions on disinfection of venues and fitness practices of its 12-member teams and Marcial said playing venues will also be considered since many arenas are used as quarantine facilities or swabbing centers for COVID-19.

Other sports organizations such as the NBA and European football leagues have bared their plans to resume their respective seasons — all of which have been stalled early this year due to the ongoing pandemic.

In the Philippines, non-contact sports held outdoors such as swimming and biking are allowed in areas under the general community quarantine provided that minimum health standards such as physical distancing are followed. Mass gathering like sports events, however, remains prohibited.

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