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11 Jan, 2021
Saina Nehwal & HS Pranoy have tested positive for Corona Virus on the morning of the Yonex Thailand Open. The two players have been isolated and taken to a hospital for 10-day quarantine. The Badminton Federation of India issued a brief statement and promised to provide more details, via an elaborate statement later in the day.
Currently, the Indian team is undergoing an additional test following which the players returning negative tests will be allowed to go ahead with their participation. Additionally, no coaches or support staff from the Indian contingent will be allowed courtside or in the stadium as a precautionary measure, a source close to the developments informed.
Saina’s husband Parupalli Kashyap has also withdrawn from the tournament as a precaution and is also expected to be in 10-day isolation being a close contact of Saina. This is Saina’s second positive test result as the 2012 Olympic Bronze Medallist also returned a positive result back in December.
"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 had told the media before leaving for Bangkok.
The Badminton Association of India is in close contact with the players, team management, and the BWF on the developments, said the BAI statement.
Day one of the Thailand Open began on a great note for the Indian team with the mixed doubles team of Satwik Sairaj & Ashwini Ponnappa taking the first game off the Indonesian sixth seeds 21-11, but just as they were looking to close the game out coach Dwi was asked to move away from the courtside which seem to have affected the concentration of the players as they lost a tightly found second game.
However, the experienced duo regained their composure and went on to close the match in three games 21-11 29-27 21-16 to seal their participation in the second round. The fate of the remaining matches for the Indian team and their participation in the rest of the tournament hinges on the test results awaited.
Such are our times!