IOA assures full support as India battles COVID-19 pandemic

Sports federations and State Olympic associations are following closely instructions issued by relevant authorities, says IOA.

In this picture taken on March 26, Indians wearing masks ride on a motorcycle to a hospital in Jammu, India. Sunday marks the fifth day of a three-week shutdown ordered by the central government.   -  AP

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Sunday assured full support to India’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, reiterating the need for self-isolation under the current circumstances.

IOA president Narinder Batra on Saturday said the Tokyo Olympics qualification events, postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic, will be held once the health crisis is resolved.

“In past few days we [have] got suggestions that IOA should also contribute towards humanity in these times of global crisis because of the coronavirus pandemic,” IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta said in a release. “Your esteemed federations/State Olympic associations are following closely the norms and instructions issued by Government of India, [the World Health Organisation] and other world organisations involved in managing this crisis.”

‘Just the beginning’

The pandemic has so far claimed over 30,000 lives across the world while infecting more than 650,000 people, and the India’s top Olympic body said it was always available to assist. “This is just the beginning of our war against the pandemic, we aren’t aware how things will shape up in future, what all new challenges we all have to face. We assure you all, IOA will come forward and reach out to you and will work as per protocols and norms set by government, WHO, UNICEF and concerned bodies. In the meantime, we have to follow self-isolation,” the IOA said.

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