The Jakarta Post
The ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF) has indefinitely postponed the 10th ASEAN Para Games, which were set to take place from Mar. 21 to 27 in the Philippines, amid concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.
The federation’s board of governors secretary Osoth Bhavilai said in a letter to the Indonesian National Paralympic Committee that Philippine Paralympic Committee president Michael Barredo had written to the APSF president requesting the postponement of the international sporting event, citing concerns over the ongoing threat of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines.
“In the interest of public health, safety and security, we write to respectfully inform you of the board’s decision to strongly recommend the indefinite postponement of the 2020 ASEAN Para Games, given the risks presented by this novel coronavirus health crisis,” Barredo wrote in the letter.
After careful deliberation among executive committee members regarding “the physical and emotional well-being of all participating para athletes and staff”, Bavilai said the majority of the members agreed that the 10th ASEAN Para Games hosted by the Philippines should be postponed indefinitely, with possible reconsideration within the year if the coronavirus outbreak could be effectively contained.
This is the second time the 10th ASEAN Para Games have been postponed. The ASEAN Para Games Committee previously announced that the games, which were supposed to take place in the Philippines in January, would be delayed until March for technical reasons.
The Philippines reported the first death outside of China from the novel coronavirus on Feb. 2, as reported by AFP. The person who died in the Philippines was a Chinese man coming from Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicenter, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
In late January, the Philippines stopped issuing visas on arrival to Chinese nationals, in a bid to keep the southeast Asian nation free of the deadly virus.