Indian women boxers in quarantine at SAI’s hostel in Delhi

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Indian women boxers in quarantine at SAI’s hostel in Delhi as Europe trip gets delayed

NEW DELHI: Two-time World Championship medallist boxer Lovlina Borgohain‘s Covid positive test report has scuttled the Indian women’s boxing team’s planned exposure trip to Europe for training-cum-competition program. The six female boxers, along with coaching support staff, were scheduled to travel to Assisi in Italy via Rome on Friday night from an Air France flight, but Lovlina’s contracting of the virus meant the departure of five others had been delayed too.
Lovlina has been admitted to Batra Hospital and Medical Research Centre situated at Tughlakabad Institutional Area here on a precautionary basis after the boxer complained of fever. Batra Hospital is a dedicated covid care facility. According to sources, Lovlina is stable, recovering well, and hasn’t been showing any signs of covid. She has been under strict medical supervision with doctors monitoring her progress closely. The 28-member Indian contingent – consisting of men and women boxers and coaching support staff – were tested for Covid on Thursday in Delhi as the Italian government’s advisory mandates travelers from India to take the coronavirus test within 72 hours of arrival. At the October 11 testing in NIS Patiala, all of them had initially returned negative.
The other boxers – Pooja Rani, Simranjit Kaur, Manisha Moun, Sakshi Chaudhary, and Sonia Lather – have been quarantining at the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) hostel complex inside the Jawaharlal Nehru (JLN) stadium here, TOI can confirm. Also quarantining separately at the same facility is the women’s team’s coaching staff – coach Ali Qamar, female coach Aarti Thakur and female physio Shikha.
They all will remain quarantined at the hostel for the next five-six days and will be subjected to Covid RT-PCR tests. It’s been learned that they will be tested twice. Only after the boxers and coaching staff report negative for coronavirus will they be allowed to travel to Assisi to join their male counterparts. Until they clear the back-to-back Covid tests, the women boxers and coaching staff will not be allowed to travel.
In the case of Lovlina, she will not be leaving for the European tour anytime soon. Even after getting discharged from the hospital and completing her quarantine period as per the health ministry’s guidelines, her recovery will be monitored on a day-to-day basis as the boxing federation officials (BFI) and authorities concerned wouldn’t like to take chances with her health. Lovlina could have contracted the virus during her return to NIS Patiala from her hometown Guwahati. She traveled by train from her village Baro Mukhia in Golaghat district to Guwahati and from there she took a flight to Delhi. From Delhi, she traveled to NIS Patiala by road in a cab. While coming to Delhi on Thursday for the Europe tour, she traveled with the rest of her five teammates in a private vehicle. However, she was in isolation since returning from Guwahati, as per the SAI’s SOP. She had gone to her village in Assam to see her ailing mother.
So as a precaution that the other female boxers might have inadvertently come in contact directly or indirectly, they have been quarantined at the SAI hostel and their departure delayed.
However, a 17-member Indian male boxing contingent, along with 10 elite pugilists, left for Assisi via Rome on an Air France flight Friday night. The boxers and coaching staff were tested twice on October 11 (NIS Patiala) and October 15 (Delhi) and both their test reports returned negative. They will again be tested at the Rome airport and then again in Assisi at the national boxing center. Only after returning negative, they will be put in quarantine at the center following the Italian government’s strict 14-day quarantine on arrival. Among them traveling are Amit Panghal, Ashish Kumar, and Satish Kumar, who have qualified for Tokyo.
The SAI has sanctioned a Europe tour for 16 elite Indian boxers for a period of 52 days from October to December. MC Mary Kom and World championship bronze medallist Manish Kaushik have opted out of the tour for different health reasons. Vikas Krishan has been training at the Alexandria Boxing Club in Virginia and will remain there till November 30.


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