SMC players test negative for COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — All PBA players from San Miguel Corporation have tested negative for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the company said on Tuesday.
Players from SMC’s three PBA franchises in Barangay Ginebra, San Miguel Beer and Magnolia were all part of the corporation’s testing of about 70,000 people in its workforce, including third-party providers, ahead of the company’s planned gradual reopening of its facilities throughout the country.
“We are happy to report that all of our basketball players tested negative from the virus,” said SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang, who put up a real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing facility and laboratory right at the company premises.
The PBA has been suspended since March 11 due to the pandemic. League commissioner Willie Marcial had said the PBA will come up with a decision by August on whether to resume the halted season or cancel it altogether.
Metro Manila has been on lockdown since mid-March.
Last Monday, the region shifted to a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) where non-contact indoor and outdoor sports activities such as biking, swimming, golf, badminton, equestrian and skateboarding are allowed, as per the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
But while staging of sporting events have been sorely missed in the country, Ang stressed that the safety of everyone comes first.
“We defer to the government’s wisdom and decision on when team-based leagues like the PBA will return especially if people’s lives are at stake. While we all miss the PBA, we need to first create a safe environment to limit the spread of the virus,” he said.
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