The Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres, which have been shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be used as quarantine facilities for patients of the deadly disease, the Sports Ministry said on Sunday.
The decision to allow all SAI regional centres, stadiums and hostels to be used as quarantine facilities was taken following a request from the Health Ministry.
“Yes, we have decided to allow all our centres to be used as quarantine facilities after the Health Ministry asked for it. It is a pandemic and all the SAI centres are public properties,” Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya told PTI.
“This is a crisis situation and whatever support the government needs, we are ready to provide that.”
Julaniya, however, did not specify exactly when these centres will be put to use by the health ministry.
SAI has 10 regional centres and five stadiums in the national capital under it. These can be used to create quarantine facilities for at least 2,000 people, according to an official estimate.
In the wake of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, all training camps at SAI centres, barring for those preparing for the Olympics, were cancelled and athletes were advised to return home by the Sports Ministry.
Those training for the Tokyo Games have been allowed to continue with strict guidelines on social distancing, Their national federations have been told to ensure that none of these athletes come in contact of anyone who is not a part of their training camps.
The deadly coronavirus has infected more than 300 people in India with five deaths reported so far.
Globally, the pandemic has till now infected 3,08,564 people and killed over 13,000.