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Russian Olympic chief: COVID-19 not mass-scale among national athletes

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said in late April that Russian national teams’ athletes would be requested to undergo thorough medical examinations to be allowed to join training camps

MOSCOW, May 29. /TASS/. The scale of reported COVID-19 cases among Russian athletes is not rampant and the current situation regarding the novel coronavirus infections is under control, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), told TASS on Friday.

"So far it does not appear to be widespread and everything is under control," Pozdnyakov said in an interview with TASS. "However, we have received reports about [COVID-19] cases among our athletes."

"Unfortunately, our doctors cannot render at the moment practical recommendations or voice predictions about the dates of their [athletes’] return to national teams," he continued.

"Anyway, every athlete wishing to resume trainings with the rest of the national team must, first of all, take tests with the FMBA [the Russian Federal Medical Biological Agency] and then undergo a thorough medical examination, which can later provide ample information for further decisions."

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said in late April that Russian national teams’ athletes would be requested to undergo thorough medical examinations with the FMBA to be allowed to join training camps.

A week ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a proposal from the Sports Ministry of Russia to reopen training camps for national teams’ athletes on condition that all disciplinary and sanitary measures in view of the COVID-19 pandemic are strictly observed.

During an on-line session with President Putin on May 22 regarding the current sanitary and epidemiological situation in the country, Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin presented a step-by-step report on the restoration of the system of national training camps. Putin said in response that "when the national teams are at their training camps they are really in a self-isolation regime and, in fact, the most important is to abide by sanitary measures."

COVID-19

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 5,945,200 people have been infected worldwide and more than 362,900 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 2,608,400 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

To date, a total of 387,623 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with more than 159,000 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 4,374 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.