SINGAPORE: An Indian badminton player has tested positive for COVID-19 at Yonex Thailand Open, said the Badminton World Federation (BWF) in a press release on Tuesday (Jan 12).
This follows the third round of mandatory testing for the players on Monday, said the sport’s governing body. BWF was informed on Tuesday morning, hours before the start of the tournament.
A total of four players – two from India, one from Germany and one from Egypt – had initially tested positive said BWF. Upon retesting the same specimens, three of these players were found to be negative. These three players will be retested today.
“One Indian player remains positive and is in isolation for a minimum of 10 days at the hospital. That person will be tested again today also. The match involving this player was declared a walkover,” added BWF.
“Today’s match featuring the roommate of this player has also been declared a walkover. That player is in self-quarantine and also subject to another test today.”
BWF noted that the two confirmed walkover matches would include shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kashyap Parupalli.
In a tweet prior to the BWF news release, the Badminton Association of India said on its official account that shuttlers Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy had tested positive for COVID-19.
BWE noted that the entire Indian team has been categorised high risk by Thai health authorities. All players and 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. India players scheduled to play today will be allowed to come to the venue,” added BWF.
However, no coaches, managers or other personnel from Team India are allowed, it added.
“BWF and Badminton Association of Thailand will continue to follow all protocols outlined by the local health authorities to ensure the safety of all other participants,” said BWF.
The Yonex Thailand Open as well as the Toyota Thailand Open, which is slated to be held next week, have already been hit by a series of high-profile withdrawals.
The Japanese team have withdrawn following world number 1 Kento Momota testing positive for COVID-19, while the Chinese team also did not travel to Bangkok.
Singapore has four badminton players in action at the tournament, which is being played in a “bubble” behind closed doors.
Earlier on Tuesday, Singapore’s top male shuttler Loh Kean Yew fell to tournament sixth seed Jonatan Christie 21-13, 10-21, 16-21 in the first round. Loh is ranked 38th in the world, while Indonesia’s Christie is seventh.
Jin Yujia and Crystal Wong will face Laksika Kanlaha and Atitaya Povanon in the women’s doubles, while Singapore’s top female player Yeo Jia Min will face Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon on Wednesday.