On March 12th, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he was implementing an (ECQ) enhanced community quarantine for Metro Manila. Since then, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has suggested that all national athletes and coaches living in the affected areas should return home and quarantine. However, approximately 30 national team members have remained in the lodging provided to them by the PSC.
The majority of PH national athletes have been housed in dormitories located at Philsports in Pasig city, and at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. No athletes were allowed to stay at Rizal as the stadium has recently been turned into a temporary hospital to help fight the Coronavirus.
PSC Commissioner Ramirez told the media that 30 players and staff members are still stationed at Philsports and are being closely monitored for signs of the virus. None of the athletes or coaches that remain at PhilSports has been tested for the virus because none of them have shown any symptoms.
COVID-19 has taken the world by storm and has affected everyone’s daily lives from the Philippines to the United States. Certain areas such as Metro Manila have been hit especially hard with the majority of the Philippine COVID cases stemming from that area.
The Philippines recently eclipsed over 6,600 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, with 3,785 of those cases discovered in metro Manila. When compared to the rest of the world, the Philippines is doing reasonably well in terms of infections and deaths resulting from contracting the virus.
PSC Chairman William Ramirez told media sources over the weekend that sports will be one of the last things to resume following the Coronavirus pandemic. Ramirez also stressed that the PSC’s only concern is for the well-being of the Filipino people.
With sports on the back burner, seasoned bettors have been looking for other ways to cash in. Online sportsbooks operating legally in the Philippines have offered up additional options for bettors, including eSports, video sports sims, and virtual camel racing.
Esports has taken the front seat as Philippine teams are currently competing to raise money and awareness for the fight against the Coronavirus. While some eSport competitions have been canceled due to the pandemic, others have arisen to better the community.
In the coming months, as life returns to normal, we will come out of this pandemic with a newfound respect for healthcare workers, community leaders, and frontlines. Sports will resume when the time is right.