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Monday, 13 September 2021 08:57

PON in Papua: Making Peace With Covid-19

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After being postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 virus, finally the  20th 2020 National Sports Week (PON) was decided to be held in Papua, Indonesia from September 22 to October 15, 2021. A total of 37 sports and 10 exhibition branches will be competed at the biggest sporting event in the country.

Based on the Setkab.go.id, it is stated that the 20th PON in Papua should have taken place from October 20 to November 2, 2020, with "Papua Bangkit" stadium as the main location.

On the account, Indonesian Minister of Youth and Sports, Zainudin Amali explained that the decision to postpone the 20th PON to October 2021 is that the government saw in October 2021, there is no important sporting agenda. In addition to setting September 22 to October 15 2021 as the time for PON 2020, the government has also decided that this sporting event could be attended by spectators. But on condition, they must show a vaccination certificate and follow strict health protocols.

It is known that currently, Papua is still undergoing a policy of imposing level 3 restrictions on community activities. The situation is expected to gradually improve as in many other regions in Indonesia, so that the National Sports Week can be carried out as planned.

Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD in a virtual press conference last weeked, appealed to spectators not to flock to the location of the match. They are also advised to register online beforehand. This appeal needs to be appreciated, considering that although the pandemic is expected to have subsided, the situation is not yet fully normal.  With the regulation of audience capacity in each arena, and suggestions for watching via online or television, it is hoped that there will be no new clusters of Covid-19 spread from PON 2020 Papua.

Besides the strict supervision in implementing health protocols, the security is also a concern of the government. Thereby, the Papuan Police have dispatched 16 companies of Brimob Nusantara troops to all areas in the Papua PON arena for security.

Hopefully, the national athletes who come from all corners of the country can achieve maximum results, even though they are overshadowed by the pandemic. All related stakeholders of the 20th PON 2020, such as  athletes, officials and spectators are expected to cooperate and strictly adhere to health protocols to create a sense of security for all. Thus, the initial idea of holding the National Sports Week  as a sporting event in search of talented athletes in every sport across the country can be realized.

The public are expected to continue to support the spirit that was inflamed through PON by fostering brotherhood and unity and building national characters through sports. PON is expected to be the highest peak of national level sporting achievements towards international sporting events.

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