Sports minister Kiren Rijiju said that following the inoculation of the front line COVID health workers, Olympic-bound athletes are in line to be shielded from the dreaded virus.
The minister outlined that the Covid warriors deservedly should be the ones getting the vaccine, following which the athletes should be given the priority who will depart for Japan later this year.
“When the vaccination starts for others — after Covid warriors — we want to give it to our players first especially the Olympic-bound athletes. First of all, we have to ensure that Covid warriors get the vaccine because they are the ones who protect the society. Then the next turn will come to the athletes, we come at the last. Our athletes are in the forefront,” Rijiju told ANI.
A total of 3.2 lakh health workers have already been infused with the vaccine after having received both doses. Amid the inoculation drive, the health ministry have reportedly put in a request with the health ministry to consider vaccinating the athletes right after the frontline health care workers.
Rijiju revealed that they are yet to receive a response regarding their request to the ministry, and implementation shall only be possible if the approval is sanctioned.
“We have requested the Health Ministry to put athletes on priority. As of now, we are awaiting their reply. Once they respond, we will start executing the process. There is still time for the Olympics and we are hopeful that we will be able to do it. We are having discussions with all concerned departments regarding this and we are working on it,” Rijiju added
He also spoke about India’s return to hosting sporting events as well, with the Shooting World Cup and India Open 2021 expected to be held in the country.
Moreover, Rijiju revealed that he will be alongside President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday for the inauguration of the Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, the venue for the third test between India and England.
“Tomorrow, I’m going to Ahmedabad as a Sports Minister. It is a proud moment that we are going to inaugurate the world’s largest cricket stadium. I’ll be joining the President,” Rijiju concluded
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