Jakarta: President Joko Widodo decided to delay holding the 2020 National Games (PON) in Papua, from October 2020 to October 2021, over the ongoing new coronavirus disease pandemic that disrupted the completion of several sports venues.
Construction work at the venues for this multi-sport event could not be continued partly owing to the shortage of building materials in Papua, Youth and Sports Minister Zainuddin Amali informed journalists here on Thursday, April 23, 2020.
The construction material available was insufficient since supplies from outside Papua were hindered by the imposition of travel restriction and social restriction measures in Papua, he explained.
"In addition, several construction workers employed for this venue construction project also come from outside Papua," he pointed out, adding that the covid-19 pandemic afflicting several parts of the world had also made it difficult to procure sports equipment.
The National Games was initially scheduled to be held from October 20 to Noember 2, 2020, but the government decided to postpone its convening, he told the journalists after joining a video conference chaired by President Jokowi to discuss matters related to the convening of PON.
The Papua provincial administration, in a bid to break the chain of the coronavirus disease, has extended large-scale social restrictions in the province until May 6 in the wake of a continued rise in the number of residents diagnosed with covid-19.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the province currently reaches 124, Papua Deputy Governor Klemen Tinal remarked after a coordination meeting on Wednesday with the Papua Provincial Legislative Council chairman, Papua Provincial Police chief, and commander of the Cenderawasih Regional Military Command XVII.
The second phase of large-scale social restrictions will begin on April 24 and end on May 6, he revealed, adding that Papua is currently ranked sixth in terms of the number of coronavirus cases in Indonesia.
Nationwide, Papua currently ranks below Bali in terms of the number of covid-19 cases, he pointed out.
Tinal believes that despite the high number of covid-19 positive patients, Papua has the highest recovery rate of 27 percent among the country's 34 provinces.
To this end, the Papua vice governor remains optimistic that all members of the community would be disciplined and serious in adhering to the government's directives to contain the transmission of COVID-19 by stopping activities until 2 p.m. local time. (antara)