The Athletics Federation of India on Thursday asked its athletes to refrain from attending public or private functions and follow the World Health Organisation guidelines on the rising coronavirus threat.

The number of global Covid-19 cases have reached more than 88,000 across 66 countries, with over 3,000 deaths since it originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

In a meeting, the AFI’s committee also decided to carry out its own mandatory medical check-up for any athlete, coach or support staff joining the camp after a break.

“In light of the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) and an increasing number of cases of infections around the country, a meeting of the top officials from Athletics Federation India under the chairmanship of President Adille J Sumariwalla was held at AFI office today,” the federation said in a statement.

The meeting was also attended by Lalit K Bhanot, chairman AFI planning committee, AFI treasurer Pradeep K Srivastava and Sandeep Mehta, secretary of Delhi Athletics Association. The committee issued the following advisory for the chief coach, deputy chief coach, national campers, coaches and support staff deputed at various camps in India:

  • Athletes are not allowed to go out of the camps. 
  • Athletes are not allowed to attend any private or public functions.  
  • Athletes are not allowed to train with anyone from outside the camps.   
  • Ensure non-campers are not training with the campers and separate time slot be allotted to them.  
  • Report to medical centres immediately if symptoms of flu or other sickness are noticed.     

The AFI also asked the athletes to follow the WHO Health Advisory:

  • Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.  
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment.  
  • Avoid unprotected contact with farm or wild animals.     
  • People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practise cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash their hands).