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COVID-19 again hangs over sporting events

Professional sports, which are currently playing their different leagues around the world, are raising alarms due to the high number of positive cases in…

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The NFL and the NBA in the United States, as well as La Liga in Spain, reported the highest numbers of infections since the beginning of the pandemic among players and sports personnel, largely due to the return of full-capacity stadiums and the reduction of COVID safety measures. This has coincided with the explosion of the new Omicron variant that spreads with greater ease.

Professional basketball

The best basketball in the world, where there have been plenty of controversies around COVID-19, ended the previous week with 111 reported players on the NBA's list of COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The number of athletes could be higher, as teams have not passed their updated injury lists and new probable cases emerge every day. One of the last big names added was Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

This situation has forced the teams to draw on youth players or from other leagues, and to rearm their teams every week depending on the infections that may arise, often arriving at the games without adequate physical or tactical preparation. Not even coaches have escaped the new wave of infections, with five across the league infected

For its part, taking into account the latest agreement reached between the health authorities and the league, the quarantine time will be reduced to only six days.

NFL

The National Football League began the week by sharing the worrying figure of 521 cases in December, an extremely high number if one takes into account that the total of infections last season was 300.

Taking into account the reports since September, with 32 cases, going through October that showed a slight decrease, 29, the numbers began to skyrocket in November, with 82 reported players going on the list.

In the absence of two games to go to the playoffs, the good news for the league is that most of those infected did not present symptoms or were mild, so the NFL still is not considering suspending or reducing the calendar.

La Liga

In Spain, given the increase in cases, the Ministry of Health has ordered a reduction of the public capacity in the stadiums to 75%, three months after having given the green light for full occupancy. The same happened in Germany, which had already announced this reduction.

Until Wednesday, Dec. 29, taking into account only the first division, 80 cases have been reported among players and other sports personnel, an alarming figure that is a consequence of what has been called the sixth wave, one of the strongest in terms of infections.

The pandemic is, for now, the center, again. Testing is again the name of the game when it comes to prevention and containing the virus.

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At this time, all teams must perform daily rapid tests and a PCR when they return from Christmas break, seeking to avoid a level of contagion that threatens the continuity of the tournament.

As in the NBA, in La Liga, the quarantine time was reduced from 10 to seven days, which in some cases, opens the window for players to arrive on game day and be part of the available squad.

It is important to note that in the first division a team can only suspend a game on account of COVID for 30 days. If it must do it more times or on different dates than those established by the calendar, it will automatically lose the game by a score of 3 to 0.

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