The Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) scheduled in Hanoi, Vietnam come November this year is on the verge of postponement as mounting concerns over the spread of more transmissible variants of the novel coronavirus are reported in Vietnam with new virulence unlike its predecessor.
MANILA — The Philippines spearheads the campaign opposing the proposal of postponing the SEAG this year, leading seven other countries that also push for the staging of the Games in Hanoi, Vietnam amidst the mounting Covid-19 concerns in the host country.
According to House Deputy Speaker and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham Tolentino, eight of the 11 member-nations of the SEA Games Federation voted for the biennial meet to push through as scheduled from 21 November until 02 December the current year. It is not disclosed which nations affirmed the schedule to push through.
Vietnam’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) had earlier sought a postponement of the SEAG to next year as it expressed alarm over a rising Covid-19 caseload in the country, prompting an emergency meeting among federation members.
Since April this year, virus infection in Vietnam had more than tripled to over 9,000 cases and although the number is relatively low in comparison to most of its Southeast Asian neighbors, Vietnam’s vaccination rate per capita has been registered as the lowest in the region and among the lowest in Asia.
Congressman Tolentino says although the SEA Games events are due to take place in some of the worst affected provinces including Bac Ninh and Bac Giang in Vietnam’s northeast region, stringent measures could be imposed to control the outbreak from further spreading.
In recent weeks, one badminton venue in Bac Giang has been turned into a field hospital.
However, Tolentino says it is ultimately up to the Vietnam government to decide with finality. (TC/The MiNT)
Featured image: Startling left, vice president of Vietnam Olympic Committee (VOC), Prof. Hoàng Vĩnh Giang; VOC President, Prof. Nguyễn Ngọc Thiện; Vice President of Vietnam Sports Administration, Dr. Tran Duc Phan during the SEAG council meeting in November 2020 in Vietnam. (Photo courtesy by AESF)