EASING of restrictions due to the Alert Level 2 status in Davao City is being dealt with caution by the Davao Covid-19 Task Force including the new guidelines for contact sports. Rightly so since implementing it would be very tricky for local government units (LGUs).

Davao Covid-19 Task Force Spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser on Friday's (November 18, 2021) Bida Bakunado program of the 87.5 Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) said they are still deliberating whether to approve contact sports in the city.

"We're considering a lot of things before i-approve sa (it is approved by the) Covid-19 Task Force ang contact sports. Naa pa tay (We still have) dialogue, constant study," she said, adding that there is a need to have proper guidelines with contact sports since the protocol of social distancing will be very difficult to comply with when athletes are in very close proximity with each other such as in basketball or martial arts.

In national and international pro leagues such as the NBA and PBA, participating teams and all involved in running the tournaments go in bubbles to ensure the health and safety of everybody involved. A regular RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) testing team is in place in playing venues where participants are mostly housed in one complex or hotel. But doing so would be very expensive for local organizers and participants.

Addressing this concern with caution on the part of our city officials is understandable. Covid-19 is still very much around. Even fully vaccinated individuals can still get infected.

Davao City Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office (SDD-CMO) earlier said the local government unit has the prerogative to adapt the Inter-Agency Task Force guidelines on contact sports. He, however, said they are still consulting with health experts on how to implement the new guidelines for contact sports without compromising the welfare of the public.

Sir Mikey said that athletes already miss playing their sports but he also asked for patience, assuring that they will soon come up with the guidelines that are tailored fit to Dabawenyos.

I appreciate how our local government leaders and health officials are putting a premium on the overall health and safety of everybody, not giving in to pressures from any group. That's the kind of leadership we need to support amid this pandemic.

Let's trust that the city government, through the Davao Covid-19 TF, has all our best interests at heart. In the meantime, as we wait for the guidelines, let's make do with the alternative ways to exercise and stay fit.

We have been into this pandemic for 20 months already, what is a few days or a few weeks more for us to wait for the guidelines.