President of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) Lt Gen Arif Hassan believes that about 90 percent of sports activities can resume in the country in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Arif, it was time to prepare a comprehensive blueprint for the coming back of sports after taking all possible precautionary measures and urged the government to look into it. He believes that they can allow the resumption of almost 90 percent of sports activities in the country, step by step, by following proper guidelines and SOPs.
In March, the government launched a nation-wide lockdown with the aim of slowing down the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The government notification included a ban on all organized sports activities. In recent weeks, the authorities have eased the restrictions on various activities in order to lift the country’s sagging economy and the ban on sports activities hasn’t been reviewed.
The POA chief is of the opinion that the resumption of sports in the country could take place step by step by starting with sports which has a minimum risk of spreading the virus, such as bicycling. However, of course, it is necessary to take all the necessary precautions with proper SOPs in place and ensure that all athletes taking part in a competition are tested for the Covid-19 before giving them permission.
In many other countries in the world, the biggest problem when resuming major sports events is that the can only go ahead without spectators due to the Covid-19 situation. However, this isn’t a big problem for most sports events in Pakistan since only major cricket matches and a few other sports attract a large number of spectators.
Arif urged the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination, which governs Pakistan sports, to take the lead and prepare a plan for the resumption of sports activities in the country.