Athletics
Wed, 7 Apr 2021

SAI tightens up COVID-19 protocols across centers, weekly tests to be conducted

The Sports Authority of India has decided to implement stricter COVID-19 protocols in its centers across the country and from now on, every athlete will undergo testing each week.

Right when the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic marked its first year of prevalence in India, there has been a sudden spike in positive cases across the country, bringing back the worries of another lockdown and with it, the possibility of sportspersons getting affected by it.

To ensure the health and safety of the country's Olympic-bound athletes, Sports Authority of India (SAI) will be toughening up the protocols that are currently being followed in its centers across India.

On Wednesday, a total of 36 positive cases were detected in  SAI's Bhopal centre, which include 24 athletes and 12 support staffs and on the same day, SAI announced that their SOPs across all of its national camps will be tightened.

Now, each athlete and support staff present at an SAI center will undergo testing each week, but the national sports body will be keeping in mind the training regime of the sportspersons in accordance to the stricter protocols.

"Following the second wave of Covid-19 cases across India, the SAI has released a new set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to curb its spread on SAI campuses and National Centres of Excellence (NCOEs)," an official statement from SAI read.

As part of the new SOP. special schedules and staggered timings will be in effect so that the training routine of the Olympic probable athletes are not hampered due to the increased frequency of testing.

Moreover, any new athlete has to take an RT-PCR test 72 hours before arriving at an SAI campus or NCOEs and will be allowed to join the camps only if the test result is negative.

For national campers, a 7-day quarantine will be in effect but training will be allowed under strict COVID norms. They will also have to take an RT-PCR test on the sixth day of the quarantine, followed by weekly testing.

"They will be allowed to train if negative, and will be treated according to state government protocol, if tested positive," the SAI statement further asserted.

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