By Nitin Srivastava
New Delhi [India], March 21 (ANI): With the rising number of Covid-19 positive cases in the ongoing ISSF Shooting World Cup in New Delhi, ISSF's Secretary-General Alexander Ratner has expressed his concern about a possible bio-bubble breach.
Two more Indian shooters had tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday at the ongoing ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun which began at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting range (DKSSR) on Friday. Both are rapid-fire shooters and have been shifted to hospital, a National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) official told ANI.
"It's life now, we can't exclude anything and Covid-19, in general, is enemy of course. The organising committee with the support of the Indian government has done everything possible to protect the health of the athletes and to ensure that no one is affected by Covid during the competition but again its life and we know that even if you go for a test tomorrow you can't exclude the possibility of getting positive so that's unfortunately happened in some cases," Ratner told ANI on Sunday.
"But as far as I know the organising committee is taking required measures to isolate those who have been tested positive. I am absolutely sure that organising committee will do every single work that is needed and all the regulations will be followed," he added.
Further talking about the rising number of Covid-19 positive cases, Ratner said: "The technical delegate has been informed about it, we will first understand what has happened and we will do every single thing possible to guarantee that it doesn't happen again. When we talk about bubble in general we count on the consciousness of every person. Everyone must follow the rules but it's not the prison. What we have to achieve is to explain once again to everybody that each one is responsible not only for his health but for everyone."
Asked about the importance of the ongoing ISSF Shooting World Cup, Ratner replied: "This World Cup is of utmost importance for the ISSF and for the athletes of the entire world. Here the top rank athletes are competing in 12 individual events and they are trying for quota places for the Olympics so 12 quota places to be allocated here in this World Cup. We are extremely grateful to the organising committee NRAI for all the efforts done to guarantee that so many countries are able to come here and to feel safe to compete for the quota places for the ranking points and preparation to the Olympic games."
Earlier on Saturday, two Indian shooters and an international shooter had tested positive for COVID-19. The roommates of the COVID-19 positive athletes were isolated and the two Indian shooters were quarantined. However, their teammates returned a negative COVID-19 result. Both Indian shooters were from the 10m air pistol category.
"Two Indian shooters have been tested positive for COVID. Their roommates are placed in isolation. Both shooters are 10m air pistol category and quarantined as per the protocol. An international shooter has also tested positive," a source in the NRAI had told ANI.
On Saturday, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) had also asked the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) to submit a report regarding a possible bio-bubble breach by the international athletes ahead of the ISSF Shooting World Cup.
In addition, ahead of the showpiece event, an unnamed international shooter had also tested positive for coronavirus. (ANI)