PSC monitoring athletes’ health — national training director Marc Velasco

The Philippine Sports Commission is conducting daily monitoring of athletes through online updates to get information on their health as the country continues to fight COVID-19.

PSC national training director Marc Velasco (MB file photo)

PSC national training director Marc Velasco (MB file photo)

PSC national training director Marc Velasco said Friday that the government sports agency has been keeping tabs with athletes through constant communication with various national sports associations.

So far, Velasco said they have not received a single report of COVID-19 related concern.

“None at the moment, and we hope that it stays that way until this is over,” said Velasco when contacted by The Manila Bulletin. “We received some reports of headache, or not feeling well, but not symptoms of COVID-19.

“We’ll keep monitoring our athletes through their NSAs. What we’re doing now is online communications. All are online for now as we follow the government’s call of Enhanced Community Quarantine.”

Velasco said that while most of the national team members were able to return home or go back to their respective provinces, some 30 athletes from Philspada and five boxers are being accommodated at PhilSports Complex (formerly ULTRA) in Pasig City.

Since the government’s implementation of the ‘ECQ’ or lockdown, athletes from Philspada have been staying at the PSC-controlled facility, while the boxers were forced to stay at the PhilSports Complex after they failed to get a flight back to their provinces.

Also being monitored are athletes “trapped” abroad because of similar implementation of lockdown, including pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz.

Obiena is in Italy at the moment, Yulo in Japan and Diaz in Malaysia.

“We constantly remind them, of course to stay home and stay safe. That’s being implemented worldwide. So we monitor that and get information on their condition (health wise),” said Velasco.

“It’s a very tough situation, well especially on Obiena because of the number of COVID-19cases in Italy. Diaz is in KL and she can’t fly back home because of the lockdown. Caloy is ok so far in Japan, which was able to control the COVID-19 situation,” he added.

Aside from monitoring, Velasco said the PSC – under chairman Butch Ramirez – constantly reminds the athletes to continue with strength and conditioning from their respective homes.