The management committee of the National Collegiate Athletic Association is heeding the advice of the Department of Health and has called off all its activities for the second time.
Season 95 Management Committee chairman Peter Cayco said this after officials held an emergency meeting at the Aloha Hotel yesterday upon learning that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country have doubled. (As of latest count, there are now 20 COVID-19 cases in the country - Ed)
“Due to the declaration of the Department of Health of Red Alert Sub-Level 1 and the guidance issued by the Department of Education that concerns gatherings or out-of-school activities, all NCAA activities are hereby suspended until further notice,” said Cayco in a statement.
So far, the Department of Education has issued guidelines “to ensure heightened precautions” in light of recent developments.
Under Code Red sublevel 1, responses being implemented include intensified contact tracing and home quarantine of close contacts of confirmed cases, improved hospital preparedness, enhanced Severe Acute Respiratory Illness surveillance, and activation of other laboratories outside of Research Institute of Tropical Medicine to increase capacity to diagnose.
Cayco said the the Policy Board is set to meet soon to discuss the possibility of cancelling all games.
“The action of the NCAA is for the safety and welfare of the students, the athletes, the fans and the officials,” added Cayco.
Present at the meeting are MANCOM members Fr. Vic Calvo of Letran, Paul Supan of JRU, Dax Castellano of St. Benilde, Frank Gusi of Perpetual Help, Melchor Divina of Mapua, Hercules Callanta of Lyceum and Estefanio Boquiron Jr. of Emilio Aguinaldo College.
According to the Health Department early Monday, four more people have reportedly been infected with the virus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 10. Later in the day, the list ballooned 20.
President Rodrigo Duterte has already declared a state of public health emergency.
NCAA officials have been notified that classes in all levels in both public and private schools in the City of San Juan have been suspended to give time to all school officials to sanitize and disinfect their campuses and put precautionary measures in place to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19.
The NCAA was supposed to resume all of its sporting events on March 16 after implementing a suspension of activities recently amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Cayco said indoor volleyball, football, lawn tennis, and soft tennis were all expected to pick up where they left off on the said date.
There are still two remaining play dates in the elimination round of the men’s and women’s volleyball tournaments.
The league was planning to have its track and field event to commence on March 16, with the Under-15 basketball and beach volleyball set to raise its curtains on April 25 and 29, respectively.
The season-ending cheerleading competition will be held as scheduled on March 30.