THE PBA on Saturday is taking additional measures that hopefully would give players some peace of mind once the league's 12 teams return to training later this month amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The board of governors agreed that all PBA teams will shoulder the hospital expenses of their respective players who test positive for COVID-19 during the resumption of training, tentatively set to begin as early as July 20.
The board also agreed to conduct swab tests for its players, and doing away with rapid testing during the course of the training.
“Sasagutin ng teams lahat ng hospital expenses kapag nagka-COVID ang players. Just like when players get injured. So there's no need for any insurance,” PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said at the end of the board meeting on Saturday.
The swab testing, adopted upon the suggestion of Ginebra team governor Alfrancis Chua, will be conducted in San Miguel Corp.’s own testing facility, but the teams will be shouldering the costs for their players and staff.
Initially, the PBA’s health protocols during the resumption of practice tasked teams to conduct rapid, swab, and rapid tests every 10 days. Swab tests, medical experts said, are the most effective in confirming whether a patient has the virus.
The measures were put in place after the PBA was given the go-signal by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to conduct practices for its teams under strict health guidelines to protect the players and coaches from the COVID-19 virus.
The board also convened a day after Marcial met with coaches and team managers, who gave their approval on the PBA plans.
Marcial said the league will now send another letter to the IATF requesting that teams be allowed to play scrimmages in August.