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First case of Covid-19 hit PBA


PhilBoxing.com




The fate of the PBA referee found to be positive to Covid-19 virus following an antigen test on Wednesday will be known Friday or Saturday.

The referee, whose identity remained anonymous, meanwhile, was taken out of the Quest Hotel where the entire 300-man PBA delegation is billeted, and transferred to the Clark athletes’ village for the usual 14-day quarantine isolation and re-testing.

Said game official was one of the three-man crew that worked on the Alaska Aces and Blackwater Elite game of the on-going PBA 2020 Philippine Cup on Tuesday, was scheduled to undergo the more rigorous RT-PCR test yesterday.

“We have to wait two or three days pa bago lumabas ang resulta ng test,” PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial told THE MANILA TIMES Thursday morning in a telephone interview. “So, bukas o Sabado pa natin malalaman kung ano susunod nating hakbang.”

Marcial expressed hopes, though, the official will pass the test as he did in several tests he underwent before arriving at the bubble early this month.

The referee was tested on Oct. 19 along with 27 others whose tests all came back negative Tuesday, the league Commissioner recalled. “He had previously tested negative three times, twice before entering the bubble and once after.”

Marcial, along with the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and the Bases and Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) said in a joint statement, the latest finding could be a case of “false positive.”

Such observation was shared by Dr. George Canlas, the PBA adviser on the bubble, who said in a text message to this writer: “May I suggest we wait for the results of the swab test done yesterday. All indications point. (though), to a “false positive.”

“Nevertheless , we're still asking all concerned to take all the needed precautions for the good of everybody,” Marcial stressed, adding team officials of both Alaska and Blackwater had also requested that players of both squad be, likewise, undergo testing.

No decision on the request has been taken, though, as of this writing.

Despite this development, the CDC has given the PBA clearance to proceed with the remaining games inside the bubble, Marcial bared. “Stricter measures, of course, have been set in place for implementation.”

This is the first time since lockdown in all sport activities were banned that the country’s first play-for-pay league has been affected by the spread of virus.

In the meantime, what was left of the seven referees in the pool will be tasked to officiate back-to-back games each playing days. An additional two to three from Manila will reinforce the pool.

"Siguro, we’ll assign three referees to enter the floor during games so the alternate referee can officiate in the second game. We're pacing the officials, too," Marcial said.

All activities inside the hotel, including the use of the swimming pool and the gym has been suspended . Even jogging will temporarily be stopped to give way to disinfecting.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea of The Manila Times.


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