By Neto Baptiste
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to stymie the completion of work at the country’s lone track and field facility, YASCO Sports Complex.
This is according to Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, who said technicians charged with the laying of the surface at the facility are still unable to acquire flights back to Antigua.
“We have been in touch with PASO [Pan American Sports Organisation], not the two gentlemen directly and am sure you’ve seen Europe has had increased numbers or is going into a second wave. One of the individuals is domiciled in Italy I believe, and the other in Panama and in both places the numbers are just increasing and so that remains on pause,” he said.
Work at the facility halted in March after the country recorded its first case of the coronavirus. The technicians, who had already begun preparatory work for the laying of the Mondo manufactured surface, then flew to their respective homes ahead of port closures.
Matthew said the ministry can only sit and await word from those in charge of the project.
“Someone asked the question as to why PASO doesn’t just send someone from the United States? It doesn’t work like that. First of all, PASO has their contractual agreement with the persons who installs the track on behalf of Mondo so I know it’s not certainly in our place to tell them to find somebody in the United States to send because they are the ones that are paying these contractors to do that and everyone is facing the same problem,” he said.
“If they come to Antigua they would have to be quarantined for two weeks and what happens if they are quarantined and they test positive so there are so many scenarios and the persons themselves are reluctant to leave their homes. No one wants to travel right now to go anywhere and to do anything,” he added.
Rehabilitation work, which started at the YASCO Sports Complex in, has faced several delays over the past two years.