The Sports Ministry plans to use the sports stadiums and hostels under the control of the Sports Authority of India as quarantine sites for coronavirus patients and have already conveyed to SAI to make the facilities available whenever required, the Indian Express reported on Sunday.
SAI has 10 regional centres across India and five stadiums in New Delhi under its control, and could provide a ‘minimum of 2,000 isolation beds’, according to the report. Even the Balewadi stadium in Pune under the Maharashtra State sports department has been identified as a potential quarantine facility.
Confirming this, Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya told the paper: “This is an emergency situation. Anything and everything which is required in the interest of public health will be made available. If they need [SAI facilities] for isolation ward, we will make it available. If they need it for any other health purpose, we will make it available.”
The Ministry had already cancelled all camps at the SAI centres and asked all the athletes to return home, except for those preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, which in itself is under a massive cloud of uncertainty at the moment. The national hockey teams are training in Bengaluru while a few athletes are training at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala.