Hockey India on Wednesday ruled out shifting the Olympic-bound men’s and women’s hockey teams from the Sports Authority of India’s Bengaluru centre 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 COVID-19, according to a top SAI official, who said there was 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 told PTI. 

“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 told PTI. 

“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 SAI 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.

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