Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali recently announced the pandemic-delayed 20th National Sports Week, or PON XX, will be held from October 2-15 in Papua.
PON XX was originally due to take place last year, but had to be postponed following the Covid-19 pandemic. At President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's behest, the quadrennial event is making a comeback this October.
"The president instructed there should be no more delay to the event, as we had already postponed [PON] in 2020," Zainudin told an online press conference on Monday.
Zainudin noted the government has yet to decide whether PON XX will have no spectators, limited audience, or even take place at normal capacity. They will also keep tabs on the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics for reference. "We will see how they will hold the [Tokyo Olympics]. [We] must be disciplined in implementing the health protocols," he said.
According to Zainudin, the president also instructed Covid-19 vaccination program for the entire PON XX contigent – including the athletes, officials, trainers, and support staff – as well as the local communities near the venue. "Looking at the vaccination [progress], I am optimistic that when the time comes, all of them have received the vaccine," the minister said.
The Sports Ministry had begun inoculating athletes and trainers at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta since late February. In a separate statement, Zainudin revealed the first phase of the vaccination targets 5,000 athletes, whereas 7,000 others are to receive the Covid-19 jab in the second phase.
"For the second phase, we will expand [the vaccination] to the athletes in the regions, especially those who will participate in PON," Zainudin said a few weeks ago.