The Karni Singh Range will be divided into four "risk" zones to ensure that Olympic-bound shooters can safely resume training at a two-month long national camp which will be conducted from Thursday in a bio-bubble to ward off the COVID-19 threat. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) will take joint responsibility of conducting the camp in a secure environment.
"In order to maintain a secure bio-bubble whereby the athletes can train safely and to prevent a coronavirus outbreak, the responsibility of maintaining the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be shared by the Sports Authority of India and the NRAI," read a statement from SAI on Tuesday.
The camp had earlier been postponed twice because of the pandemic and is expected to feature 32 shooters (18 men and 14 women), eight coaches, three foreign coaches and two support staff. All 15 Olympic quota winners will be a part of it. The exercise will take place at a total cost of Rs 1.43 crore, according to SAI.
"To maintain safety, zoning of premises by nature of risk category to minimise the contact between campers and range personnel has been planned into Green, Orange, Yellow and Red Zones," it added. The NRAI has made boarding and lodging arrangements at a hotel close to the range, for which SAI is providing support as per existing SOP.
From the hotel to the entry to the shooting range, it would be NRAI's responsibility to ensure compliance of the SOP in order to keep the bio-bubble secure. Shooters/coaches coming from outside the Delhi-NCR region will have to be quarantined at the hotel for seven days while the locals will require self-isolation at home for a week, after which they will join other campers in the hotel for the entire duration.
NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia said: "...this will be the first national camp that will be held since the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March and all steps are in place for the shooters to perform in a safe and comfortable environment." All the shooters and coaches must undergo COVID-19 tests, which will be conducted at the hotel and arranged by the NRAI.
India can add to its record haul of 15 quotas for the Tokyo Olympics on the basis of world rankings in the upcoming months. A compulsory camp was first planned for an August 1 start but had to be postponed because of the raging pandemic.
Another camp, which was scheduled to begin on October 1, was also pushed back due to the same reason.