New Delhi, September 16: Following the Unlock 4.0 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) released an upgraded-Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the resumption of sporting activities in all its centres.
This upgraded SOP also comes after six hockey players tested positive for COVID-19 after they resumed their training at SAI Bengaluru centre. The players had returned to the national hockey camp here following a month-long break.
The SOP is in continuation of the SOP released by SAI earlier and includes procedural changes with regard to new trainees joining the training camps. The SAI will undertake testing and the cost of all COVID-19 tests to be undertaken by athletes, coaches and support staff joining training, will be paid by SAI, it said. All those joining the camp will have to adhere to the following protocols of testing:
i. Self-isolation: As far as possible, athletes have to self isolate themselves 15 days prior to joining training along with a declaration for it.
ii. All the athletes, coaches and support staff have to undergo mandatory RT-PCR test for COVID-19, 96 hrs before travelling to the centres and would be allowed to enter the centre on the production of COVID-19 negative certificate.
iii. If the athlete, coach or support staff is unable to undergo the test before travelling, due to unavoidable reason he/she shall be tested through an RT-PCR test immediately on arrival.
iv. Further, only athletes, coaches and support staff who are found negative for COVID-19 on retesting through RT-PCR on the sixth day of quarantine after reaching the camp, would be allowed to resume sports activity after a total quarantine period of seven days. However, these athletes should not mingle with the athletes, coaches, support staff who are already in the bio-bubble/secure training environment from before, for a further period of seven more days.
v. For any athlete/coach/support staff who is found positive for COVID-19, the standard protocol as prescribed by the Government of India, State Government, SAI SOP, and the local bodies, would be followed. Further, all athletes, coaches and support staff joining the NCOEs would have to adhere to the guidelines of the Government of India, state government, SAI SOP and the guidelines of local bodies, with regard to COVID-19.