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Saina Nehwal Tests Positive for Covid-19, Indian Team Categorised as High Risk

Saina Nehwal. (Photo Credit: AP)

Saina Nehwal. (Photo Credit: AP)

Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy tested positive for coronavirus, the news of which has come out on the day Thailand Open begins in Bangkok.

Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy tested positive for coronavirus along with a player each from Germany and Egypt on Tuesday. This is the second time Saina has caught coronavirus, having recovered from it only a few weeks ago.

Saina tested positive in her third test on Monday. Furthermore, HS Prannoy has tested positive, ANI reported.

According to the BWF statement, all the four specimens were re-tested and three of them – one from India and the Germany and Egypt players – tested negative. All those three players will be tested again on Tuesday.

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The one Indian player (Saina), who tested positive even in the retest is in a Bangkok hospital in isolation for at least 10 days. Saina will be re-tested and has been withdrawn from the tournament, according to BWF.

Along with Saina, Parupalli Kashyap was also withdrawn from the tournament because of proximity with Saina. He is in self-quarantine and will undergo another test on Tuesday.

“The entire Indian team has been categorised high risk by Thai health authorities and all players team entourage are currently self-quarantining in their rooms at the hotel and will be subject to a PCR test today.

“Each individual is subject to daily testing until further notice from the Department of Disease Control, but players can continue to play upon producing a negative result,” BWF said in its statement.

Badminton Association of India (BAI) General Secretary Ajay Singhania said the association was in constant touch with the BWF, the organisers of the tournament and the Indian team management and players.

“These are unprecedented times but BWF is doing everything to ensure full support to our players including their safety.

“According to the guidelines and safety norms, these three players will not be participating in the tournament. However, all other players have been allowed to participate but they have to play without the presence of coaches and support staff as per the safety protocols,” Singhania said.

BWF stated that the Indian players (including Prannoy) scheduled to play on Tuesday will be allowed at the venue but no coaches, managers or any other personnel will be allowed.

Saina and Kashyap have had to deal with coronavirus. Both had recovered only a few weeks ago after they had tested positive following their close friend and colleague Guru Sai Dutt’s wedding.

In an interview with News18.com, Kashyap had shared that both he and Saina had to stay in quarantine and couldn’t practice for days because of coronavirus effects.

While Saina had recovered quicker than Kashyap, she also had to quarantine herself because Kashyap tested positive the second time as well.

“We recovered from Covid-19 some 10 days back (said on December 27). We had about three days of symptoms and thereafter, we were normal. We got checked on the eighth day and I still tested positive, which was very frustrating. Saina tested negative but she had to stay away from the court as well because I was with her,” Kashyap explained in a telephonic interview.

Kashyap had further elaborated that both he and Saina had mild symptoms and they had to deal with them for only a couple of days.

Kashyap had also shared that the couple had gained a few kilos because of their anti-viral medicines. “We have some anti-viral medicines, which made us very hungry and we probably put on a few kilos because we couldn’t control our urge to eat. But thankfully, it was not hectic on our body,” Kashyap had said.

Last year was not all grim for Saina though. She had gone on a vacation to Maldives with Kashyap and a few other friends.

Kashyap had also shared that he and Saina are slated to shift to their new home, which they had planned for last year, after Thailand Open. It remains to be seen how that plan will pan out now given Saina’s infection.

Confirmed Walkovers:

Selvaduray Kisona vs Saina Nehwal

Parupalli Kashyap vs Jason Anthony Ho-Shue

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first published:January 12, 2021, 10:12 IST