Sports Authority of India issues fresh SOPs amid rising Covid-19 cases
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has updated its Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) due to an increase in the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. These measures will be implemented at the various National Centres of Excellence (NCOE) as well as the ongoing national coaching camps.
As per the latest guidelines from SAI, proper isolation facilities are being earmarked for COVID positive or symptomatic athletes across the camps. Athletes will be required to undergo Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) upon arrival at national camps and training centres to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 infections. If the test comes negative, they will be trained separately until the sixth day of joining. A repeat of the test would take place on the fifth day.
Those athletes returning a positive result for RAT will further take an RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction) test and will get treated in isolation. The athletes have also been asked to avoid interacting with other groups to control the spread of Covid-19 infections.
According to The Hindu, there will also be random testing of athletes, coaches, support staff and non-residential staff in the camps once every 15 days. Reportedly, State governments’ guidelines will supersede SAI guidelines.
In 2021, few national camps were disrupted because of the second wave of Covid-19. Boxing clubs in Patiala and New Delhi were disrupted. Coaching camps in Bhopal and Bengaluru, where the hockey teams were training also got disrupted. As many as 24 sportspersons and 12 support staff members were tested positive for the virus at the SAI’s Bhopal centre in 2021.
India is already experiencing a high rate of Omicron infections. Several states have already imposed new restrictions to fight against the Omicron variant of covid-19. Most of the Covid-19 cases in India are reported from Mumbai and Delhi. Daily hospitalisation has also increased in the past few days.