WITH the country’s first confirmed local transmission of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Saturday, March 7, 2020, athletes and coaches have the outbreak in mind on whether the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (Cviraa) Meet should push through from March 21 to 28, 2020 in Dumaguete City.
The Cviraa Meet will gather thousands of student-athletes, tournament managers, parents and supporters who come from 19 divisions in Central Visayas. The winners will be tapped to represent Region 7 in the Palarong Pambansa, which is usually held either in April or in May.
Cebu City Niños track coach Arvin Loberanis said the first priority should be the safety of the athletes.
“For me personally, I would like it to be cancelled or postponed as a precautionary measure and for the safety of all the people involved,” he said, adding that the athletes are the responsibility of the coaches every time there’s an out-of-town event.
Loberanis said if the event will push through on the same date, what he can do as coach is to remind the athletes to always observe cleanliness and proper hygiene and also to coordinate with the delegation nurses.
The Department of Health (DOH) raised the alert system to Code Red sub-level 1 due to the threat of Covid-19 after the cases in the country rose to sixth on Saturday afternoon.
Cebu Province coach Mark Tapales Cantal, for his part, said he’s in favor of the competition pushing through since the other regions are doing their own reginal meet for the Palarong Pambansa and it’s up to the decision of the Central Office whether the Department of Education (DepEd) step-ladder event will push through.
“For me, personally, I’m in favor of it pushing through. The DepEd has done precautionary measures. I think it must be postponed if the DOH will advise it since they know better on the situation,” Cantal said.
Rookie athlete Dave Naveo and Batang Pinoy nationals double gold medalist Gio Beguña both want the event to continue on March 21 to 28.
“If it pushes through, I will play. But it’s also fine with me if they will postpone it and resume only if the Covid-19 issue is resolved,” said Naveo. “Sanitary must be our priority during and before games.”
“I want it to push through, but all the athletes must follow proper hygiene, wash hands always and use alcohol to prevent any virus,” Beguña said.
Mandaue City coach Francis Berizo said it’s important to follow protocols and every person in the delegation must always be prepared.
“The emergency plan is important and the athletes who are going to the event must be healthy. It’s common on out-of-town events that there’s an athlete who gets sick before the travel. I think the sick athlete must be advised to stay for his/her own safety,” he said.
In a meeting with Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on Friday, March 6, mayors of different towns and cities passed a resolution asking for the postponement of the Cviraa meet, which was originally scheduled to take place on Feb. 15 in Dumaguete but was moved due to the Covid-19 scare.
The mayors, along with the governor, cited their concern over the safety of the 436 athletes who will represent Cebu Province in the annual meet.
Aside from Cebu Province, the other delegations from Cebu to the Cviraa meet are Cebu City, Bogo City, Carcar City, City of Naga, Danao City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City and Toledo City.
The other delegations in the Cviraa meet are Bais City, Bayawan City, Bohol, Dumaguete City, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Tagbilaran City and Tanjay City.