Palarong Pambansa postponed due to COVID-19 threat

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2020 11:48 AM | Updated as of Mar 09 2020 03:49 PM

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) Putting the safety and health of athletes, teachers and their families first, Marikina City Mayor Marcelino "Marcy" Teodoro on Monday suspended indefinitely the 2020 Palarong Pambansa after the city recorded its first case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Palarong Pambansa was scheduled for May 1-9 in Marikina City.

"Because of the health threat posed by COVID-19, I am suspending indefinitely the Palarong Pambansa 2020 as the health of the student athletes, teachers, and family members from all regions in the country is our primordial concern," Teodoro said.

The local government is 100% prepared to host the Palaro this year, but because of COVID-19, the mayor decided to suspend it.

On Monday, Teodoro announced to the public that an 86-year-old resident of Marikina who travelled to South Korea, has tested positive for COVID-19.

"Around 11 kagabi, nakatanggap ako ng impormasyon na galing sa Department of Health na kinukumpirma nila na may positive case dito sa Marikina," Teodoro said. "Ang pasyente ay nasa isang pribadong ospital."

"Ang pasyente 86-years-old. Nagpunta sa ospital dahil may nararanasang paninikip sa paghinga, ubo, at meron din siyang lagnat nung oras na iyon," he added. "Kaya nga may travel history siya sa South Korea, tinest siya for COVID at kagabi rin nalaman confirmed na positive siya for COVID infection."

According to the mayor, the patient arrived in the country on February 19 after his vacation from South Korea. On March 5, he went to a hospital because he was feeling ill. Results that went out on March 9 saw that he tested positive for COVID-19.

Prior to this, Teodoro had suspended classes in all levels in both private and public schools for the disinfection of classrooms in the city from March 9 to 11.

Because of the recent developments, Teodoro said he is eyeing an extension of the suspension of classes.

Contact tracing of the people who may have come in contact with the 86-year-old man was immediately done by the local government after Teodoro ordered it.

"Walang dapat ikabahala dahil nag-contact tracing. Sama-sama, tulong-tulong tayo rito. Buong komunidad ay pangangalagaan updang hindi magkaroon ng transmission," he said.

Teodoro will issue a memorandum ordering public areas to conduct massive disinfection in schools, markets, parks, and other local spaces to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the city. 

"Kahapon, nalaman namin ng nakaraang araw na may case sa Cainta. Kaya na nagpasya agad kami sa Marikina na magsagawa ng massive disinfection sa lahat ng mga paaralan, pamilihan, parke, at barangay halls kung saan nandoon ang mga tao. Kasi 1-kilometer radius lamang ang Cainta," he said.

With this, the mayor advised the public to refrain from going to places of convergence such as markets, parks, gatherings, and other "high-touch areas."

"Pinagbawal na rin namin ang mga malalaking pagtitipon sa mga komunidad. Ito ‘yung dahilan kung bakit nagkaroon tayo ng class suspension para bigyan daan ang massive disinfection na gagawin sa mga paaralan para maging ligtas ang mga paaralan natin," Teodoro said.

"Pinayuhan din natin sila na iwasan ang paglabas sa mga tahanan at umiwas nang pagdalo sa mga malalaking pagtitipon at mag-observe ng proper hygiene, hand washing and coughing etiquette," he added.

Because senior citizens are the most vulnerable, Teodoro met with them and asked them to strictly follow the precautionary measures advised by the World Health Organization, and the Department of Health.

"I also instructed the barangays to distribute multivitamins and procure additional vitamins for our senior citizens to boost their immune system," Teodoro said.

He also instructed barangay officials to make necessary containment measures to prevent transmission in the community.

Teodoro also emphasized the importance of system reporting of possible symptoms of COVID-19.

According to him, he has also met with member of the homeowners associations in the city and told them the precautionary measures being undertaken by the local government to ensure that residents will not get infected of COVID-19.

"Mineeting na rin natin kahapon ang ating mga homeowners association, community association, ‘yung mga barangay. Nagagawa natin ito sa Marikina kasi organized naman ‘yung mga areas ng communities natin sa Marikina," he said.

The mayor has also activated the Barangay Emergency Response Teams of the 17 barangays in the city to help monitor, report, and strictly implement protocols on the preventive measures against COVID-19 threat.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).