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Sports Authority of India to shut centres amid rise in COVID cases

SAI's training centres will be reopened after a review of the situation

sports-authority-of-india-sai-logo-1 Sports Authority of India (SAI)

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Monday said it has decided to close its 67 training centres across the country due to rising COVID-19 cases but national camps for elite athletes will continue in bio-bubbles.

"In view of rising cases of COVID-19, the Sports Authority of India has decided to close the 67 SAI Training centres across the country," the SAI said in a statement.

"The decision also comes in the wake of directives issued by various states to suspend sporting activities for the safety of athletes," it added.

The decision will not impact the National Centres of Excellence (NCOE) like the ones in Patiala and Bengaluru where camps for elite athletes are in progress across multiple disciplines.

 "There is no change in training schedule of elite athletes training for Asian and Commonwealth Games later this year. They are training in bio-bubbles at the NCOEs and following all precautions," a SAI spokesperson told PTI.

Two days ago, 15 athletes had tested positive for COVID-19 at the South Centre in Bengaluru. Most of them were jumpers and middle- and long-distance runners.

The Bengaluru centre had witnessed hectic sporting activity in December with the South Zone inter-university men’s hockey championship and the Indian Open national para-athletics both being held.

The centres would be reopened after a review of the situation in due course of time.

India reported a rise of 1,79,723 COVID-19 cases on Monday. The number of active cases has increased to 7,23,619, the highest in around 204 days, while the death toll has climbed to 4,83,936 with 146 fatalities reported this morning by the health ministry.

- With inputs from PTI


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