The Sports Authority of India has decided to close 67 practice centres in the country due to increasing cases of covid infection. However, the national camp of elite players is scheduled to be released as per schedule. The decision will not affect national centres of excellence like Patiala and Bengaluru where elite sportspersons' camps are still going on. A statement issued by SAI on Monday said, "Due to the increasing cases of covid infection, the Sports Authority of India has decided to close 67 SAI practice centres across the country. The decision has also been taken in view of instructions from various States to suspend sports activities for the safety of sportspersons. ’
A SAI spokesperson said, "The decision is not going to affect the practice programme of elite sportspersons preparing for the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. They are practising in bio bubble at National Centres of Excellence and are taking all precautions. A decision to reopen the Centre is due to review the situation in the near future.
SAI has announced the introduction of stringent covid protocols only last year, including weekly scrutiny of sportspersons and paramedics at all centres. The instructions were issued after 24 sportspersons and 12 staff members were found positive at Bhopal centre in SAI. India reported 1,79,723 cases of covid infection on Monday. This has taken the total active cases to 7,23,619 and the death toll has increased to 4,83,936 with 146 lives as of this morning.