SAI issues new SOPs to combat rising COVID-19 cases

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has come up with a revised standard operating procedures (SOPs) to deal with the drastic increase in COVID-19 cases. The cause for concern is the Omicron variant of coronavirus, which has put the world of sports in a spot.

All SOPs will be implemented at various National Centers of Excellence (NCOE) as well as the ongoing national coaching camps where Indian athletes undergo rigorous training sessions.

All athletes upon arrival at various gyms must undergo a mandatory Rapid Antigen Test (RAT). If the test result is negative, the athletes can train and eat separately until the sixth day after registration.

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A repeat of the RAT will take place on the fifth day of arrival. An athlete who gets a positive result in RAT must undergo an RT-PCR test. The athlete must isolate himself and follow the protocol further. All athletes who tested negative will continue normal training.

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All National Centers of Excellence and fitness centers will be equipped with proper isolation facilities, earmarked for COVID-19 positive athletes. The insulation facilities would be cleaned twice a day.

SAI introduces microbubble as part of SOP

The athletes will also be in the microbio bubble, where they will be divided into small groups for training and dining. Athletes have also been strictly asked to avoid interacting with other groups.

Also read: Elite athletes have trouble training with defective equipment at India’s leading sports institute in Patiala

There will also be random testing of players, coaches, support staff and non-residential staff in the NCOE and other SAI training centers, once every 15 days. It has also been recommended that players take part in competitions recommended by the respective national sports federations (NSFs) and SAI officials.

For invitational tournaments and non-Olympic qualifying events, recommendations will be made by the respective regional directors (RDs) of the NCOEs.

It should also be noted that guidelines from the respective state governments take the place of the SOPs set by the SAI.

Also read: TOPS: 50 more athletes included in the Core Group, 143 in the Development Group for the 2024 Olympics


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