Many activities and events that managed to go on as scheduled in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic were forced to undergo some significant changes, to ensure the safety of participants, staff and audience from getting infected. For some beauty pageants for instance, live audiences were dropped, and a number of component events might have been done virtually to keep people socially distanced as much as possible. But some events would try to have the contestants together, and the recent Miss Eco International pageant held in Egypt was once such instance. But mere days after the pageant night, it was revealed that some of the beauty queen participants were tested COVID-positive.
The Philippine Star reports that several candidates of the Miss Eco International pageant (2020 edition, held only this past April 8, 2021) found themselves unable to fly back to their home countries after mandatory swab testing revealed that they have contracted COVID-19. The Egypt-based MEI Organization gave a statement on its official social media channels saying that the safety of the participants will be ensured, and that online accusations regarding the pageant’s neglect were exaggerated.
We are trying our best to coordinate with everyone including the ladies who are still here in Egypt,” notes the Miss Eco International Organization. “And we have fulfilled our duties as promised. And we’re taking good care of all our infected queens.” According to a post on a pageant website from Thailand, among the COVID-positive MEI contestants are Miss Philippines and First Runner-Up Kelley Day, alongside Miss Ecos Argentina, Canada, Malaysia, Montenegro, Peru, Reunion Island and Thailand. Already the national pageant directors of Thailand and Peru have lambasted the MEI Organization and declared that they will no longer send representatives.
As for Day, her condition is being followed up on by Arnold Vegafria, national director of Miss World Philippines which draws the Philippine representative for Miss Eco International from its winners. Vegafria says in his own statement that the MWP is coordinating with MEI regarding the safety of the COVID-positive contestants adding, “Our official candidate, Ms. Kelley Day, remains our topmost priority and we remain optimistic as we await the results of the organization’s medical testing procedures.”
Day, who tested positive on the swab test, is now awaiting the results of an RT-PCR exam for a more definitive word on her COVID status. Even if she is cleared however, Day cannot fly to Manila from Egypt due to it being on lockdown due to the NCR Plus bubble, even if the level is now MECQ. The MWP has yet to respond to calls by pageant fans that the Philippines follow Peru and Thailand in withdrawing participation in Miss Eco International.
Miss Eco South Africa Gizzelle Uys was crowned Miss Eco International followed by Runners-up, in order: Kelley Day, Miss Eco USA Alexandra Kelly, Miss Eco Costa Rica Kristell Ruiz, and Miss Eco Venezuela Steffania Rodriguez.
Image courtesy of Inquirer.net