PSC assures: Bubble protocols at par with international standards

The Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna. (Photo from Philippine Sports Commission)

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) assured that the health and safety protocols will be religiously implemented inside the training bubble for the Tokyo Olympics hopefuls to prevent COVID-19 infection at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna. 

"It's going to be a very strict environment," said Dr. Janis Espino-De Vera, head of the PSC-Medical Scientific Athletes Services (MSAS) COVID Enforcement Team, during the PSC Hour program of Radyo Pilipinas Dos on Friday. 

The "Calambubble" for Olympic aspirants in boxing, taekwondo and karate opened on Friday, with women's world boxing champion Nesthy Petecio being one of the first few athletes to arrive. 

Read: National boxers arrive at Inspire; PSC chief wants zero infection inside bubble

Espino-De Vera said they carefully formulated the list of health protocols for the training bubble to make sure it is at par with international standards. She added that it went through the rigorous process of approval from the IATF and DOH. 

RT-PCR tests are required for the 57-man delegation before and upon entry to the facility, and athletes could only start their training upon the release of the results. Mandatory swab testing will be administered every two weeks. 

Wearing of face mask and face shield will be strictly enforced and the delegates are required to always exercise hand washing and observe social distancing. 

To prevent unnecessary gathering, food will be available on a grab-and-go system. Food deliveries will be allowed but a stringent process of disinfection will be done by the Inspire staff. 

The training bubble is expected to run for about three months and the delegates will have another round of swab test and physical examination prior to exiting the bubble. 

"We're hoping na walang bubble breach para makalabas ang ating mga atleta na well-trained and healthy," said Espino-De Vera. 

Should the Calambubble turn out successful, Espino-De Vera said it will serve as a benchmark for training bubbles that will be put up for the 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam.