Just when they were about to resume training, after receiving the green signal from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Sports Ministry, athletes and hockey players preparing for next year’s Tokyo Olympics suffered a fresh blow after a cook employed with the Sports Authority of India’s South Centre in Bengaluru passed away.
The senior cook, who had not been coming to the SAI campus after the lockdown began but had attended a meeting there on May 15, had died of cardiac arrest in a hospital on Monday. His sample had tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.
The SAI confirmed, through a note, that the meeting was attended by 16 members at the auditorium near the administrative block and that social distancing norms were followed. It said that the cook did not interact with any of the players, or the other staff members in the centre.
The SAI release also mentioned that Narinder Batra, Indian Olympic Association president, was fully satisfied with the way the Bengaluru centre has been kept safe and sanitised.
“The SAI administration is doing its best to handle the issue at hand and there is no reason to panic,” the note quoted Batra as saying.
“The athletes did not attend that meeting but two or three from the administrative staff had gone for that. They have been quarantined and we too from Tuesday,” said Jinson Johnson, Asian Games 1500m champion, from the Bengaluru centre on Wednesday.
“About six race walkers and distance runners Gopi and I are here. We also have the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams here”.