National hockey camps to resume on August 19 despite 6 COVID-19 cases

Both the men’s and women’s teams will resume training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) South Centre in Bengaluru. The light intensity national camp is expected to continue till September 30.

Currently, 33 male and 24 female hockey players are in Bengaluru for the camp.

The Sports Authority of India has decided to go-ahead with both the men’s and women’s hockey camps despite the Covid-19 positive tests among men from August 19th after completion of the mandatory 14-day quarantine period, observing the SOP and social distancing norms.

READ: After Mandeep, five other COVID-positive hockey players shifted to hospital as precaution

The players had reached Bengaluru on August 4 after a 45-day break, prior to which they had been stuck at the SAI Centre, mostly without training, for more than 100 days due to lockdown. Six players had tested positive and were moved to a multi-speciality hospital as a precautionary measure late on Tuesday.

Skipper Manpreet, striker Mandeep Singh, defenders Surender Kumar, Jaskaran Singh, drag-flicker Varun Kumar and goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak have been hospitalised after testing positive for the virus.

The decision was taken after Mandeep Singh was hospitalised late on Monday night when his oxygen level dropped below normal. The other five -- captain Manpreet Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Surender Kumar, Varun Kumar and Krishnan B Pathak – had earlier been isolated at SAI.

“The decision to hospitalise them was taken so as to ensure that the players were attended to at all times and could be given the best possible treatment. All six athletes are in good health and recovering well,” SAI said in a statement.

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Men’s coach Graham Reid said the six players would join the camp after recovery and quarantine. The women, however, would all begin training immediately on resumption. “I say it on behalf of the whole squad that we are very happy to be back resuming sports activities and feeling safe. Having spoken to all the players, I have received a positive response from each of them," women’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said.

There have been no Covid cases among the women probables. "We will provide all logistical support required,  as required by the chief coaches of both teams in accordance with SOPs, and ensure that the teams can train in a safe environment,” SAI Regional Director Captain Ajay Bahl said in a statement.

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