The Omicron variant worries the basketball president | Sports
WHEN JAMAICA discovered its first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant on December 23, it sounded the alarm for Paulton Gordon, president of the Jamaica Basketball Association (JBA). Gordon is concerned that this will not only endanger the health of the nation, but also reverse recent gains made by his sport.
The association has just hosted its first local tournament since the start of the pandemic in 2020, a 3×3 development series on the field of the National Stadium, and is busy planning the return of high school basketball in early 2022, but Gordon is worried.
“Yes, I’m definitely worried,” he replied when asked to consider the health possibilities if the new variant hit Jamaica.
“We are in dialogue with the ISSA [Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association] and the ISSA has basketball as one of the sports for the second quarter. We’re supposed to speed up the planning for that, âhe said.
According to Gordon, his planning team has loosened the gas a bit.
âSo we’re going through a period of hesitation now, depending on what’s going on in the world and what will happen when that is reflected in a Jamaican context. So that’s my concern, âhe revealed.
When the first case of the COVID-19 virus landed in Jamaica in March 2020, the resulting lockdowns made it impossible to continue the sport and restrictions were only recently relaxed. Only a few sports associations have been allowed to resume competition.
Gordon hopes this scenario will not repeat itself. For both health and athletic reasons, he calls on the basketball fraternity and the sports community at large to adopt anti-COVID protocols.
âPlease respect the protocols dictated by the Ministry of Health and the authorities. We have to fight this collectively, âhe pleaded.
The President had a special word for those who have not yet been vaccinated.
“I know there are people who are, I wouldn’t want to say anti, but hesitant because of the newness of the science, but I am a strong advocate of immunization and my firm belief is that unless we have a high percentage of the population vaccinated, so we’ll go through this cycle for a while, âhe submitted.
Jamaica has confirmed its first case of the Omicron variant after a traveler tested positive for COVID-19. There are reports that the person had a short stay in Jamaica and tested positive after returning to the UK.