Unique sanitary protocols in Vietnam SEAG

VIETNAM is expecting more or less 8,000 athletes at the 31st Southeast Asian Games due to take place in six weeks from May 12 with host country-specific health and safety protocols.

The organizers, according to the President of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Representative Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, also announced during a virtual meeting of the Federation of SEA Games on Friday afternoon that there will be 256 events for the men and 242 for women for a total of 498 events in 40 sports.

But making this edition of the SEA Games Vietnam host for only the second time since 2003 – with Hanoi again as its main hub – are its unique health and safety protocols against the pandemic.

The organizers, according to Tolentino, would only allow delegation officials to travel from one remote area to another during the Games.

“Athletes and coaches will be confined to their respective areas and hotels for the duration of their stay,” Tolentino said.

But, Tolentino added, organizers would allow athletes and coaches to visit restaurants, bars, malls and tourist spots in their area.

Interestingly, the organizers do not include proof of vaccination against Covid-19, said Tolentino who added that Vietnam had designated 3,000 volunteers to work on non-sports issues of the Games.

“Countries can also change an athlete or athletes who test positive for the virus before the Games start, but not when competitions are underway,” Tolentino said. “Football is exempt from the rule because it allows teams to have additional players.”

Fans or spectators?

“The hosts said it would depend on the Covid situation in the region or cluster,” Tolentino said. “If the numbers are high fans won’t be allowed in the halls, if the numbers are low they will be allowed to watch the games.”

The sons said Vietnam reported more than 92,000 new cases on Thursday.

The Philippines will rely on 584 athletes in 39 sports in their bid to retain their overall championship in regional games.

The Philippines team will fly to Hanoi in batches, with the big one leaving on May 10.

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