Alarmed by the rising cases of the coronavirus outbreak, the Sports Authority of India is set to suspend biometric attendance at its centres across the country.
The coronavirus, which was first detected in Wuhan, China, is spreading fast and has so far led to over 3,000 deaths while infecting nearly 100,000 across the world. China, Italy, Korea, Japan and Iran are among the worst hit by the deadly disease. India has so far reported 31 cases.
“The coronavirus is taking a gigantic shape. In a day or two, we will come out with an order to temporarily suspend biometric attendance for our employees in all our centres,” a top SAI official was quoted as saying by PTI.
“It is one of the precautionary measures we are taking to control the spread of the deadly disease.”
The SAI centre in Gandhinagar on Friday conducted a workshop on coronavirus for its officials and athletes.
“The SAI Gandhinagar held a one-and-half hour sensitisation session for its staff and athletes where in-house medical staff explained about the coronavirus, how it spreads and how to avoid getting infected,” the official said.
“The doctor also told the athletes and staff not to panic. Such camps will also be conducted in other SAI centres across the country.”
The coronavirus has badly affected sporting events across the world with serious doubts looming over the Tokyo Olympics because of its widespread rise in Japan.
The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo Games organisers, however, have asserted that the event will be held as per schedule. The Delhi government had on Thursday suspended biometric attendance in its offices as a preemptive measure to check the spread of coronavirus.
The SAI has already advised the National Sports Federations to exercise caution while planning foreign competitions and training stints in view of the outbreak. In an advisory issued to all NSFs on Wednesday, the SAI said athletes’ health comes first.