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WITH UTMOST CAUTION

Guidelines released as swimmers get back in the pool

By: June Navarro - Philippine Daily Inquirer - Inquirer.net | June 04,2020 - 01:57 PM

Given the green light to return to the pool, Philippine swimming will carefully tread the water and ensure nobody will end up catching the dreaded coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Swimming chief Lailani Velasco has released a set of guidelines that swimmers from the national team and clubs affiliated with the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI) should strictly adhere to prevent any possible infection from the virus.

But while swimmers are already allowed by the government to resume training under general community quarantine conditions, the governing body for aquatics in the country has advised them to return to the pool with caution.

“The fact remains that a vaccine or cure is yet to be found. Thus, we enjoin all the clubs to observe the minimum health standards provided by the DOH (Department of Health) and undertake the best practices to ensure the health and safety of everyone,’’ the PSI reminded its stakeholders.

The PSI, which handles the largest Olympic sport locally with over 50 events, has 2,336 registered swimmers with 164 coaches, 72 team managers from 88 clubs across the country, including Fil-foreign athletes.

Without an available vaccine, the swim clubs were forewarned that letting their swimmers go back to the pool would be their responsibility.

They were likewise told to comply with the guidelines set by the Philippine Sports Institute Medical Scientific Athletes Services under the Philippine Sports Commission for the duration of the nationwide quarantine.

“With collaboration among coaches, public health officials and operators, we can create safe plans for using aquatic facilities to promote physical and mental health opportunities compliant with public health directives,’’ the PSI said.

The PSI has rolled out instructions to mitigate hazards such as increasing the water sanitation level in the pool, the frequency of cleaning and disinfection, and maximizing ventilation within the facility, among others.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has recently allowed swimming to resume in general community quarantine regions.

Also getting the go signal are golf, biking, running, tennis, badminton, equestrian and skateboarding as long as athletes and enthusiasts of these sports maintain health standards such as wearing of masks, physical distancing and no sharing of equipment.

 

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