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Hockey teams to remain at SAI despite cook testing positive

Last updated on: May 20, 2020 23:24 IST

'A cook, part of around 60 employees, who were asked to stay at home since March 10 because of their old age, died of cardiac arrest at a hospital.'

'He went to the hospital for the birth of a child of one of his relatives and had a cardiac arrest there and died. As part of the protocol, he was tested for COVID-19 and his reports came out positive.'

IMAGE: Sports Authority of India's official said the Indian men's and women's hockey teams stay in the last part of the Sports Authority of India's (SAI) South Centre in Bengaluru, Sector-B, so they are completely safe and are already living a quarantined life for the last two months. Photograph: Hockey India/Instagram

Hockey India on Wednesday ruled out shifting the Olympic-bound men's and women's hockey teams from the Sports Authority of India's centre in Bengaluru despite the death of a coronavirus-positive cook employed there as he had no access to the players.

 

The cook died of a cardiac arrest and later tested positive for coronavirus, according to a top SAI official, who said there is no reason to panic as the deceased had no access to the players' accommodation zone.

"The question of moving out the teams from Bengaluru doesn't arise because it's the best facility in the country," HI CEO Elena Norman said.

"Even if we think of such a move, it is practically impossible because of the nationwide lockdown."

A top SAI official said that the cook had not gone beyond the gate area since March 10.

"A cook, part of around 60 employees, who were asked to stay at home since March 10 because of their old age, died of cardiac arrest at a hospital," the official said.

"He went to the hospital for the birth of a child of one of his relatives and had a cardiac arrest there and died. As part of the protocol, he was tested for COVID-19 and his reports came out positive.

"The campus is divided into three sections -- Gate area, Sector-A and Sector-B. The players stay in the last part, Sector-B, so they are completely safe and are already living a quarantined life for the last 2 months," he added.

The official rejected reports that the deceased cook attended a meeting inside the SAI campus on last Friday.

"He was staying outside the campus for the past 65 days," he said.

"Our campus went into lockdown on March 10 before the nationwide lockdown was announced. The cook last visited the campus on March 15 but he was confined to the Gate area and was not allowed in.

"But still as a precaution, we have put 4-5 people, like guards, the remotest person who might have come in contact with him, into quarantine," the official added.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOC) president Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra on Wednesday clarified that none of the hockey players, staying at SAI Centre in Bengaluru, came in contact with COVID-19 positive cook who died after suffering a cardiac arrest.

"I have been in touch with Hockey India and I am fully satisfied with the way SAI Bangaluru centre has been kept safe and sanitised. SAI administration is doing its best to handle the issue at hand and there is no reason to panic. We have spoken to officials and players staying in SAI Bangalore, it is clear that none of them have interacted with the person who tested COVID positive. Any report suggesting that they did, is incorrect," Batra said in a statement.

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