NIS Patiala bars entry of outsiders due nationwide COVID-19 cases spike

All athletes and staff who stay back will undergo weekly RT-PCR tests and the move will not affect Olympic-bound athletes.

India's elite athletes including the Olympic-bound ones train at Patiala and their functional area is already in the "Green Zone" and out of bounds for anyone residing outside the campus. (File photo)   -  Special Arrangement

The Patiala Health Department on Saturday banned the entry of outsiders inside the National Institute of Sports (NIS) due to the rising cases of COVID-19 across the country.

India's elite athletes including the Olympic-bound ones train at Patiala and their functional area is already in the "Green Zone" and out of bounds for anyone residing outside the campus.

"Yes, outsider entry has been banned. We have been informed about it," a source privy to the development told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

READ: SAI announces three-week summer vacation at national centres of excellence

Earlier on Friday, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) announced a three-week "summer vacation" at its National Centres of Excellence (NCOE) owing to the relentless spike in COVID-19 cases but said that the Olympic-bound will continue to train at their ongoing camps India has been reporting over 1 lakh cases for the past few days.

"In view of the rising cases of COVID-19 across India and keeping the health and safety of athletes in mind, the Sports Authority of India has taken the decision to allow summer vacations across all National Centres of Excellence (NCOEs) for a period of three weeks," SAI had stated.

The move, however, will not impact the Olympic-bound athletes.

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"...elite athletes who are part of the National Camps and are training for Olympics and other international competitions at the NCOEs will continue to stay and train in their respective campuses.

"Their sparring partners will also be allowed to train with them. Athletes who have to attend classes or have to appear in examinations will be allowed to stay in the campus and will be provided all facilities.

"All athletes and staff who stay back will undergo weekly RT PCR test." The decision came after testing at its centres in Patiala, Bengaluru and Sonepat threw up significant number of positive cases among athletes and support staff.

However, none of the affected athletes were Tokyo-bound.