After Covid spike, 3-week ‘trip’ at SAI centres

Today News Online Service

New Delhi, April 9

After several campers, coaches and staffers at various Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres tested positive for Covid-19 over the last few days, SAI has announced a three-week ‘summer vacation’ at its National Centres of Excellence (NCOE). However, the Olympics-bound athletes would continue to train at the ongoing camps.

The Covid graph in the country has been rising non-stop for several weeks, and over the last 24 hours, over 1.32 lakh cases were recorded in the country.

“In view of the rising cases of Covid-19 across India and keeping the health and safety of athletes in mind, the Sports Authority of India has taken the decision to allow summer vacations across all National Centres of Excellence (NCOEs) for a period of three weeks,” an SAI statement released today read.

The Olympics-bound athletes would continue to train, SAI added. “Elite athletes who are part of the National Camps and are training for Olympics and other international competitions at the NCOEs will continue to stay and train in their respective campuses,” the statement said, adding: “Their sparring partners will also be allowed to train with them. Athletes who have to attend classes or have to appear in examinations will be allowed to stay in the campus and will be provided all facilities.”

Weekly tests

All athletes and staff who remain at the SAI centres would undergo RT-PCR tests every week. SAI centres in Patiala, Bengaluru and Sonepat have reported several positive cases among athletes, coaches and support staff in recent days.

SAI said it would arrange for the safe return of all NCOE athletes who are heading home. “Athletes will be provided air tickets from the NCOE to the nearest airport of their hometown and those living within a 500-km radius will be given AC 3 Tier train tickets,” the SAI statement added.

1.15% positivity rate

SAI has conducted mass precautionary RT-PCR tests at NCOEs in Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Sonepat and Lucknow. Out of 1,477 tests conducted at these centres, only 17 positive cases were revealed, ie 1.15 per cent of total tests.

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