(Representational image) Both the men's and women's Indian hockey teams are camped at the Sports Authority of Inida (SAI) centre in Bengaluru.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) Bengaluru facility has been put under complete isolation after one of the cooks employed by the centre passed away due to a cardiac arrest. The cook later tested positive for Covid-19. Contrasting reports surrounding his contact with athletes within the facility have emerged, with any attempt at clarity thwarted by officials.
The cook had left the centre in mid March when SAI stopped training at its centres. He returned to the centre around a week back for a meeting in which discussions were held with staff on whether they were willing to return to work on resumption of training.
“He was part of a meeting which was attended by around 25-30 people. On Tuesday, all the persons who attended the meeting were asked to go into quarantine,” the Times of India quoted sources.
“The cook was allowed into the campus after he was properly screened. He was absolutely fine on that day. Later, he was admitted to a private hospital and he passed away on Monday following a cardiac arrest. It was only on Tuesday that his sample tested positive for Covid-19,” the sources added.
SAI’s Bangalore officials immediately notified the district rapid response team, and four persons who may have come in contact with the deceased cook have been quarantined.
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Reports suggest that the Indian Women’s Hockey team -- in lockdown at the facility for the last two months -- also had a meeting in the same hall within hours of the first meeting attended by the cook. SAI officials rejected reports that the deceased cook ventured inside the area of the SAI campus where players are camping.
Addressing concerns surrounding the safety of players, Hockey India CEO Elena Norman dismissed the idea of moving them out. “The question of moving out the teams from Bengaluru doesn't arise because it's the best facility in the country," she said. "Even if we think of such a move, it is practically impossible because of the nationwide lockdown."
"The campus is divided into three sections — Gate area, Sector-A and Sector-B. The players stay in the last part, Sector-B, so they are completely safe and are already living a quarantined life for the last two months," another SAI official said.
SAI has been under lockdown since March and also prohibited entry for its employees living outside the campus.“The senior director had taken strict measures to avoid any slip-ups and despite his best efforts this unfortunate incident happened,” sources said.
Currently, the SAI is the home of Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams along with 10 members of the athletics team and around 15 SAI officials and their families.
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