‘Manageable:’ Palace sees no need to probe compliance of PBA bubble with health protocols

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang sees no need for the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases to look into the compliance of the PBA bubble after an athlete tested positive for COVID-19, saying the situation is “manageable.”

During a press briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque was asked if the IATF would consider investigating any possible breach of health protocols inside the PBA bubble in Pampanga.

“This has been addressed by both the PBA and the BCDA (Bases Conversion and Development Authority),” Roque said.

“In isolation po iyong nag-develop ng coronavirus at saka in isolation din po iyong those with close contact ‘no. Pero the bubble is still intact po…Manageable naman po ang situation because of the existing bubble so tuloy pa rin po iyan,” he added.

(The person who developed coronavirus, as well as the close contacts, have already been placed under isolation. But the bubble is still intact…The situation is manageable because of the existing bubble so that will push through.)

Asked again if an investigation was no longer needed, the Palace official said: “Hindi na po [It’s no longer needed].”

“Dahil sila po’y nag-contact tracing at ilan lang naman po sila diyan so madali ang contact tracing,” he added.

(They already conducted contact tracing, and there were only a few contacts.)

Over the weekend, the PBA announced that a basketball player tested positive for COVID-19 which triggered a postponement of a game between Rain or Shine and Blackwater scheduled Saturday afternoon.

Before this, a referee became the first case of coronavirus in the bubble. The referee, however, “yielded negative on the presence of COVID-19 virus” after undergoing antigen testing. [ac]