Sports Authority of India (SAI) has prepared a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the resumption of sports in the country, after the government allowed the opening of stadiums and sports complexes. The SOP states that athletes’ training will begin in a phased manner. SAI has also divided sports into four categories, with different set of precautions for each category. The government’s Arogya Setu app, which helps track COVID-19 cases, has also been mandated for all athletes, coaches and staff.
Sports have been divided into four categories – non-contact, medium contact, full contact and water sports.
There are different procedures for the resumption of training for each category.
There are also different procedures for athletes and staff who stayed in SAI facilities during the lockdown period, which started in March, and those who stayed outside the facilities for either a limited period of time or the entire duration of the lockdown.
The SOP includes assigning a COVID Task Force at each SAI venue, who will monitor and guide all trainees and staff at the centres. The Task Force shall include the chief coaching staff from each National Sports Federation (NSF) as its member.
The Centre-in-charge is the ex-officio Chairman of the Task Force and will be responsible for overall implementation of protocols outlined in the SOP.
It will be the responsibility of NSFs to ensure complete adherence to training protocols and to secure agreement from respective athletes that any training activity undertaken shall be in full compliance to the protocols.
The SOP also mentions steps to disinfect the centres before resumption of training.
It also details how to manage suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases.