In order to allow athletes to resume training but remain safe from the coronavirus threat, the Indian Olympic Association is set to bring in battery-powered face masks.
According to a report by The Tribune, the special masks will have two valves and an N95 filter to help the athletes breathe properly.
The battery-powered face masks have been deigned by a renowned university and will first be tried out with a batch of 10-15 athletes.
“I am told this is safe and some athletes will be given this mask on a trial basis. If we get a satisfactory response, it will be supplied to all Olympics-qualified athletes,” IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta was quoted as saying.
However, doubts have been raised about the efficiency of such masks. The fear is that they might make it difficult for athletes to breathe.
“The drawback of using masks with valves is that there always is air resistance,” Sumit Arora, a sports science expert associated with the Manav Rachna Sports Science Centre was quoted as saying by The Tribune.
“As you breathe out, you exhale carbon dioxide but some amount stays inside the mask and there is always the danger of someone going into a shock while training,” he added.