NEW DELHI: The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has requested the government to vaccinate its Olympic-bound shooters at the earliest, taking into account the unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases.
As per the data updated by the union health ministry, India reported 2,73,810 new positive cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day surge taking the country's caseload past the 1.5 crore mark.
As many as 1,619 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours.
Considering the grim situation, the NRAI is keen that its athletes are vaccinated soon.
"The federation has been insisting on the athletes getting vaccinated as soon as possible. It has again requested the government to vaccinate its shooters," a source close to the NRAI said.
"We understand that it is a personal choice but if the government takes the lead and is able to convince the athletes, they will probably come forward and get the jabs. With cases rising at such a fast rate, there is no other way around at this time," he added.
The NRAI stepped up its call for vaccination after three of its Olympic-bound shooters contracted the highly contagious virus recently, forcing the federation to cancel the national camp for the rifle team that was to start in the national capital from Tuesday.
It is instead arranging for an training-cum-competition trip abroad, including participation in the European Championships.
The NRAI had announced a 15-member Indian shooting contingent for the upcoming Tokyo Games in the first week of this month.
Keeping the threat posed by the COVID-19 in mind, two reserve shooters for each event have been picked alongside the main team.
They will be trained on par with the Olympic-bound shooters and will be kept on standby for the Tokyo Games.
Last month, India finished with 30 medals including 15 gold in the ISSF World Cup in Delhi.