Sporting codes given approval by the Controller of the National Pandemic Response, to kick start their respective competitions must consider vaccination as a requirement for the existence of the competition.
Deputy Controller of the National Pandemic Response, Dr. Daoni Esorom says sporting codes affiliated under the PNG Sports Foundation must consider vaccination of sportsmen and women and even the administrators of the code to safeguard the competitions.
Dr. Daoni says sporting activities are high risk events where the COVID-19 virus can spread if preventive measures are not adopted at the early stages of the commencement of the competitions.
“It’s important for every sporting codes to comply to their respective COVID-19 protocols and most importantly consider vaccination among all competitors to protect the competition and its administrators,” said Dr. Daoni.
Dr. Daoni says there are important criteria for all sporting codes to meet in order for the competition to begin.
- A letter of request to the controller, requesting for the competition to start.
- Respective codes to have their own COVID-19 protocols which are to be submitted together with the letter of request.
- No spectators be allowed for at least two months until further notice.
- Although vaccination is mandatory, every sporting codes should consider vaccination to protect sportsmen and women and its administrators.
To date, out of the 16 sporting codes which have been given the approval, only rugby league and cricket have taken steps to ensure its sportsmen and women are vaccinated.
“We are using the national rugby league competition as a template for the other sports to follow to ensure that all the national and local sports have COVID-19 protocols and to ensure their players and the administrators are vaccinated,” said Dr. Daoni.
Dr. Daoni who commended the administrators of rugby league and cricket in complying to COVID-19 protocols, said the real test now is to ensure all COVID-19 protocols are strictly adhered to.
“I am calling on all other sporting codes to follow the examples set by rugby league and cricket administrators to consider vaccination if the competition is to survive,” said Dr. Daoni.
Dr. Daoni also called on administrators of other codes who are interested in kick starting their competitions to follow the process by writing a letter of request and submit it together with their COVID-19 protocols to the PNG Sports Foundation Pandemic Management Committee and Niupla Pasin for vetting.