Davao City’s TF on COVID to discuss lifting of restrictions on contact sports

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 21 Nov) — The COVID-19 Task Force of Davao City is discussing whether or not to lift the restrictions on contact sports in light of the decreasing number of infections attributed to high vaccination rate.

Dr. Michelle Schlosser, spokesperson for the task force, said authorities are constantly deliberating if contact sports would be allowed, given that there is no expectation that minimum public health standards can be enforced by the players during the conduct of, among others, basketball, boxing, football, martial arts.

She said there is no physical distancing during contact sports so these activities are considered “high risk.”

Secondary basketball players from the Davao Regional Athletic Association (DVRAA) and BARMM Athletic Association fight it out for possession of the ball during a match at the USEP Gym in Obrero, Davao City on 29 April 2019 during the 62nd Palarong Pambansa. DVRAA won 110-60. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

“With contact sports, we are going to break the social distancing. There should be proper guidelines on how we will go about with it because when we do contact sports, we cannot wear a face shield. We are considering a lot of things before COVID task force can allow contact sports,” she told the city-owned radio station, Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) on Friday.

Schlosser’s statement came a day after Mikey Aportadera, head of the City Sports Division, told DCDR that contact sports are allowed under Alert Level 2, provided that the venues for these games are approved by the local government. He said his office is drafting the guidelines.

Davao City has been classified under Alert Level 2 from November 15 to 30.

Since I cannot decide on behalf of the city, I am consulting the COVID-19 Task Force and the health experts. We are studying thoroughly on how we can allow contact sports,” he said.

He said some contact sports may be permitted in a “controlled or regulated” area to lessen the risk of transmitting the infection.

“By next week, we can come out with LGU-tailored fit guidelines for Davao City for contact sports,” he added.

As of November 20, the Department of Health-Davao reported 14 new cases in Davao City, bringing the total number of cases since mid-March last year to 53,711 with 51,635 recovered, 302 active, and 1,774 dead.

As of November 17, the City Government of Davao reported a total of 985,049 individuals vaccinated with the first dose and 895,829 fully vaccinated or 74.7% of the 1.2 million target to reach herd immunity. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)