BANGKOK (AP) — Former badminton world No. 1 Saina Nehwal was among four players who tested positive for the coronavirus at the Thailand Open but only she was withdrawn from the tournament in Bangkok on Tuesday.
Another Indian, HS Prannoy, an unnamed German and an Egyptian were also positive from tests on Monday, but their retests were found to be negative. They were to be tested again on Tuesday.
Nehwal’s positive was revealed by officials just hours before her first-round match against Kisona Selvaduray of Malaysia, who received a walkover win.
Nehwal was isolated and taken to hospital. The match involving her roommate and husband, Parupalli Kashyap, was also declared a walkover win to Anthony Ho-Shue of Canada.
Kashyap was in isolation along with the entire India team, which was declared high risk by Thai health authorities. Every India player will be subject to daily testing at their hotel and can play as long as they keep testing negative, the Badminton World Federation said on Tuesday.
But only India’s players could go to the venue, and no coaches, managers or other team staff.
The first tour event since October begins a three-tournament Asian leg in Bangkok this month including the delayed 2020 World Tour Finals.
The Japan team pulled out after men’s No. 1 Kento Momota tested positive in pre-departure tests in Tokyo this month. China is also not competing.
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