Another false positive case?

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    ANOTHER positive coronavirus case has been reported inside the PBA bubble in Pampanga, but league and other concerned officials are confident it would turn out to be another false alarm.

    In a hastily-assembled press conference via Zoom, Sec. Vince Dizon, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force COVID-19 and president of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, said the unnamed player has been sent to New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, for isolation.

    Also with Dizon in the online meeting were PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, league medical consultant Dr. Jose Raul Canlas and Dr. Ma. Clemencita Dobles, manager of CDC’s health and sanitation department.

    Dizon said the player is from Blackwater, who tested positive during a team test last Thursday. The player will again be tested later through antigen and RT-PCR swab tests.

    Also set to undergo antigen tests are the other Elite team members, along with the TNT Tropang Giga, whom they faced last Thursday. In the meantime, they will be in isolation in their hotel rooms.

    The development forced the league to cancel yesterday’s first game pitting Blackwater against Rain or Shine as well as tonight’s match between TNT and NorthPort.

    Those games will be reset to a later date, most likely as part of a tripleheader, according to Marcial.

    Deputy Commissioner Eric Castro said the showdown between Ginebra and Magnolia set later last night will push through.

    The latest case comes after an unnamed referee also turned up positive before confirmatory tests proved he was negative last week.

    Everybody concerned hopes it would be true in this case as well in light of the strict health and safety measures being implemented inside the bubble.

    “I want to assure you that the protocols that have been given to the referee will be the same ones that will be done to the player. It will actually be the same and we will wait for the results of this,” said Canlas.

    Dizon admitted that any kind of testing is not wholly 100% accurate, due to the uniqueness of the virus, resulting in the initial false positive finding on the referee.

    “We want to emphasize that we put in place several layers of protocols consistent and benchmarked with the successful bubbles abroad, specifically the NBA…And in those protocols testing is just one component. There are other layers of protocol that we have to put in place simply because everybody knows that there is no 100% test for COVID-19,” explained Dizon.

    Dizon even cited similar cases reported in both the NBA and NFL, where a player from each US league also tested positive but later turned out negative.

    “Kaya nga sa mga reports nila, zero cases,” Dizon pointed out.

    The PBA reiterated its assurance that strict health protocols are still being followed inside the Clark bubble.