Government prepared to “relax” quarantine periods for visiting athletes

Image Courtesy: The Indian Express

In a bid to resume sporting events in the country, the Indian government is reportedly open to the idea of providing a less stringent quarantine period for international athletes.

Sports minister Kiren Rijiju affirmed that the government are prepared to provide relaxation in the quarantine period so that the athletes coming from other nations do not have to spend long periods in isolation. He noted that the government are prepared for anything to make the athletes, who will be coming to participate in international meets, comfortable.

“We will relax them (quarantine rules) for players. We will provide them all kinds of facilities so that the players don’t suffer or have to face long quarantine time,”

Image Courtesy: The Indian Express

According to the current guidelines, the arriving set of people will have to undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test, 72-96 hours prior to their visit. Following that, they will have to fulfil a week-long quarantine period. The quarantine period’s sixth day will involve an RT-PCR test and upon testing negative for the virus, the athlete can move forward to participate.

However, the stringent rules laid down by the government is deemed to a bit harsh on the foreign athletes and as a result, a number of National Sports Federations have raised their objection against it.

According to them, if an athlete is carrying a negative test report with them, that should suffice. Instead of confining them in self-isolation, the athletes should be allowed to train inside the bio-secure facility following the norms laid out by the authorities.

The minister also claimed that the nation is more than ready to host events now, but the pandemic will not be ignored.

“We are ready to host the competitions. But the pandemic thing has to be understood from the point of its own threat.

At this moment, we will support the sporting events but we also need to take clearances from the health ministry and respective state governments where the events are going to be held. India is a large country and each city has its own issues,” Rijiju said

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