On a day when India observed Janta Curfew as advised by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian sportspersons training at two major Sports Authority of India centres at Bengaluru and Patiala, applauded the tireless service being done by doctors and health workers across India to contain the deadly coronavirus.
The national hockey teams are currently based at the SAI centre in Bengaluru. At exactly on 5 PM on Sunday, they clapped for an entire five minutes to say thank you to medical staff, who have challenged death to fight the COVID-19 virus that seems to be engulfing various parts of India.
In Patiala, where the Tokyo Olympics-bound weightlifters and middle-distance runners like Mirabai Chanu and Hima Das are housed, also joined in saying thank you to the country's medical staff.
Indian Women Hockey Team along with Rest of India Showed their Solidarity by Coming out at 5 00 pm in the Hostel at their Training Facility in Bangalore by clapping... As a Gesture of Expression of Thanks to the Medical Fraternity #CoronaUpdatesInIndia #ThaliBajao @FIH_Hockey pic.twitter.com/AIwMbRySOg— soumitra bose (@soumitra65) March 22, 2020
Athletes in SAI Patiala, among them @mirabai_chanu, thanking those who are working in the forefront to save the country from the corona pandemic #5Baje5Minute #ThaliBajao #CoronaUpdatesInIndia #IndiaFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/3W8clQkgzt— soumitra bose (@soumitra65) March 22, 2020
The coronavirus scare has stopped all sporting events across the world and the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled in July-August 2020, are in serious doubts. However, many Indian athletes, quarantined in the five centres are taking this opportunity to focus more on their training.
Speaking to Outlook on Sunday, Indian men's team hockey coach Graham Reid said, "This is a massive opportunity to put our acts together and the intensity among the boys has been fantastic. We must look at the positives of this forced quarantine and these are not ordinary times."