Philippines, 15 May 2021
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SPORTS AND COVID-19


PhilBoxing.com




For most people, the new corona virus called COVID-19, shows only moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for older adults and patients with existing health problems like asthma, heart disease and diabetes, it can generate severe illness, including pneumonia and other complications.

There's a great majority of people who recovered from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks. Those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

There are already more than 4,000 persons who died worldwide due to COVID 19, while more than 113,000 people are infected with the deadly virus in over 100 countries. As of this writing, the Philippines has 49 confirmed cases of the virus.

Sports officials and government authorities in practically all parts of the globe have done all possible measures to address concerns that spectators could be at risk and to fight the spread of the new corona virus.

The PBA Board of Governors decided to postpone the newly-started 45th season starting today until further notice because of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The board also decided to postpone the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup and the PBA 3x3 inaugural games.

Many sports leagues in the Philippines also postponed their activities due to the virus epidemic. The UAAP has suspended all Season 82 games until March 17, while the NCAA is planning to end its Season 95.

The yearly Palarong Pambansa of the Department of Education, a multi-sport competition for students originally scheduled in Marikina City from May 1 to 9, was also postponed indefinitely. The regional athletic meets were also suspended.

In the international sporting scene, several events have been postponed, including Six Nations and Women’s Six Nations rugby matches supposedly scheduled in February and March, including the Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens.

Earlier, the Tokyo Marathon was limited to elite runners and was held minus the audience. Formula One announced that the coming Grand Prix in Bahrain will be closed to spectators, while the Chinese Grand Prix, originally scheduled in April, was indefinitely postponed.

Italy and Iran, which are badly hit by the virus, have canceled their sporting events, and Greece held their games without spectators for two weeks. In Spain and Portugal, professional soccer games will also be played on empty venues for at least two weeks. FIFA earlier announced it would postpone the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The BNP Paribas Open, a major tennis tournament which was scheduled in Indian Wells, California this week, was recently canceled when local health officials declared a public health emergency in the Coachella Valley because of a locally transmitted case of the COVID-19.

In the ongoing big leagues, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League, which are still continuously playing, they have limited access to the locker rooms to only players and important team staff members.

The greatest sporting event in the world, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics scheduled for July 24 to August 9, is the most affected of all competitions. The Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee have decided to push through with the Summer Games, but there are alternatives such as postponement or playing the games without spectators.

The traditional ceremony of lighting the Olympic torch which will be passed to the organizers of the Tokyo Games will be closed to the spectators on Thursday.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee has canceled its media summit that will be supposedly held on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Several top-tier soccer games in Spain, France and Portugal, and some games in Germany and a European Championship qualifying match in Slovakia, will be played in empty stadiums.

The Spanish league said matches in the first and second divisions will be played without audience for at least two weeks. The French league said soccer matches in its top two divisions will be played in empty stadiums until April 15 and Portugal announced similar preventive measures.

Italy earlier said that all sports events, including Serie A soccer games and preparatory events for the Tokyo Olympics, were suspended. The Italian ski team decided not to send entries to Slovenia for the last World Cup races of the skiing season.

The NBA instructed their teams to prepare for the possibility of playing games in empty arenas, which Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James initially said he would not play, but later said he would follow whatever the NBA orders the teams to do.

The league also advised its players to limit contact with the fans. Instead of high fives, it is recommended to use fist bumps with fans and avoid accepting anything passed to them by hands, such as pens and jerseys from spectators.

Wuhan in China, the center of the new coronavirus outbreak, canceled the 2020 Asia and Oceania Boxing Olympic qualifying tournament and was transferred to Amman, Jordan.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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