The government on Sunday permitted the opening of sports complexes and stadiums without the entry of spectators as part of its new guidelines for the fourth phase of lockdown period which has been extended till May 31. Also Read - 'Our First Priority Was to Save Lives', Nirmala Sitharaman on Four Rounds of Lockdown
The permission paves the way of resuming training as sports events continue to fall under the list of prohibited activities. Also Read - Lockdown in Delhi: Containment Zones in Capital Rises to 102 as COVID-19 Tally Crosses 17,000-mark - Full List Here
“Sports complexes and stadia will be permitted to open, however, spectators will not be allowed,” Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a statement on Sunday. Also Read - Theatres to Reopen by June 30, Not Sooryavanshi But Hollywood Biggies to Release First to Check Footfalls?
India has recorded nearly 95,000 cases of coronavirus infection so far with over 2,900 confirmed deaths.
“Resumption of training seems to be the only implication of this guideline,” news agency PTI quoted a Sports Ministry source as saying.
The third phase of the coronavirus enforced lockdown was to end on Monday before being extended for another two weeks.
Recently, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has been interacting with athletes from different disciplines to take feedback on the possibility of allowing them to train in bio-secure environment.
The ministry has already said that it’s aiming to resume training in national camps by May end in a phase-wise manner.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has also demanded resumption of camps and requested with the government to come out with financial aid for the various governing bodies claiming sponsors won’t be supporting the athletes for at least a year.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) last week prepared a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for athletes and staff which is to be implemented once camps resume.
As part of its various guidelines, SAI has called for enforcing strict social distancing measures, downloading Arogya Setu app, regularly disinfecting training equipment, use of PPE kits by medical practitioners among others.