Even with COVID surge in Vietnam, SEAG still a go
Vietnam has been battling a recent surge of COVID-19 cases, but it seems there’s no stopping the host country from staging the coming 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) with a chef de mission (CDM) meeting in Hanoi slated March 18 to push through.
Commissioner Ramon Fernandez of the Philippine Sports Commission will physically attend the meeting for Team Philippines even if Vietnam is experiencing a sudden uptick of COVID-19 infections with a daily average of 160,000 cases the past seven days with 202,180 cases on Sunday alone.
“Based on present information, the Games will push through as scheduled. We will be there [in Hanoi] from March 17 to 20,’’ said Fernandez.
After the CDM meeting, Fernandez will be toured by Vietnam organizers in all the venues where the Games will be played with Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) officials led by former POC chair Tom Carrasco and deputy secretary general Carl Sambrano joining him.
This will be the first time that Vietnam organizers have invited the CDMs from the 11 member-countries to physically witness the progress of their preparations since the Games was postponed last year.
“On our end, I was told that most of the NSAs (national sports associations) have already complied with the submission of entries by names,’’ said Fernandez.
The Hanoi SEAG is slated May 12 to May 23 with defending overall champion Team Philippines set to bring along 584 athletes and 161 coaches from 39 sports.
Around 80 more Filipino athletes from various disciplines are seeking spots to join the national delegation.
The parade uniforms for the opening ceremony and track suits of the athletes have already been taken care of and as of now, Fernandez said they are trying to arrange chartered flights from Manila to Hanoi for the entire delegation. INQ