Virus is no joke

IT is but right and proper that the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) leadership had to step in and make the bold move to scrap all sporting events in the wake of the nCoV (novel corona virus) scare sweeping not only the country but practically the entire universe.

As the saying goes, better safe than sorry.

The events’ indefinite suspension had the similar effect of a number of towns in Batangas getting locked down despite residents’ vehement objections when Taal Volcano erupted last month.

With that harsh decision by Phivolcs that practically shooed thousands of townspeople out of their comfort zones while being lumped into evacuation centers, what prevailed was public safety over a possible disaster of unimaginable proportion.

It was a gamble that amounted to untold sacrifice and suffering for the displaced citizens.

But it was worth it.

OK, no eruption happened, but it did not mean our Phivolcs officials were wrong.  Let’s be thankful, instead, because our officials had chosen the safe side and not “suicide”—to use a bit of street lingo.

And with the virus from China’s Hubei province through mainly its largest city, Wuhan, giving us, presently, a huge scare, our sports officials have taken the bull by its horns, so to speak, in a bid to herd athletes and stakeholders out of harm’s way.

The virus—transmitted through droplets thus far—is no joke.  It has killed nearly a thousand already in China (one Chinese death was reported in Manila last week), with nearly 8,000 confined in hospitals mostly in China.  Hundreds more are being observed for possible symptoms of the virus, scores of them being treated outside China.

PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez and his fellow top guns are to be commended for their swift action in responding to the call of the times: avoiding crowd-inviting seminars and events to be held within the next few months.

Already, 32 China-based Filipinos were brought to the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City from Wuhan City for quarantine procedures—together with a flight crew of six and 13 medical workers.  If they don’t show signs of contamination within 14 days, they’d be allowed to go back home to their families.  Otherwise, they’d be confined in hospitals for treatment.

“We are postponing major events of the PSC as a safety measure against the novel coronavirus,” said Ramirez.  “Seminars and other events that will have groups of people exceeding 40 are shelved indefinitely.”

Already considered scrapped is the Asean Para Games set March 20-28 at the New Clark City, Subic and Metro Manila.

“We have a board resolution advising the Paralympics body to postpone the games,” Ramirez said.

Other events postponed were the National Sports Summit 2020, Philippine National Games, Batang Pinoy and Children’s Games.

PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez has also advised NSAs to study travels for their athletes and coaches but qualified that it is “for the NSAs to make” the final decision.

I would insist that travels abroad by our athletes for either further training or competition be indefinitely scrapped, too, to avoid harboring regrets—if not the “I told you so” refrain—later.

As I said, the current virus is no joke.  It kills—easily, as there is no vaccine for it yet.

THAT’S IT   What happened to June Mar Fajardo—a possible season-ending shin injury—is another screaming proof of how uncertain an athlete’s career is.  As the country’s highest paid cager for being the undisputed king of basketball, how much is Fajardo going to lose while not being suited for San Miguel Beer games in PBA 2020? Let’s pray for his complete recovery.

Date: February 12, 2020 | By: Al Mendoza | Newspaper: Business Mirror | Source: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/02/12/virus-is-no-joke/