Saina, Prannoy test COVID-19 positive; pull out of Thailand Open

According to sources close to the players, both Saina and Prannoy have withdrawn from the event and will be in isolation in a hospital for a minimum of 10 days.

Saina Nehwal has tested positive for COVID-19 and has pulled out of the Thailand Open. (File Photo)   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal and men’s singles player H.S. Prannoy have tested COVID-19 positive forcing them to pull out the on-going Thailand Open badminton championship on Tuesday.

“I still didn’t receive the covid test report from yesterday it’s very confusing and today just before the warm up for the match they tell me to got to hospital in Bangkok ... saying that I'm positive, according to rules the report should come in 5 hours”, Saina tweeted later on.

Interestingly, Prannoy, who had earlier tested positive, returned with a negative test on re-examination.

"Upon retesting the same specimens, one player from India, and both players from Germany and Egypt were found to be negative. These three players will be tested again later today,” Badminton World Federation said in a statement.

The Thai Open happened to be the first major event where the full-strength Indian badminton squad was scheduled  to be in action after the pandemic broke out last March.

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On Tuesday morning, in a communication to the Indian team management, the organisers have stated that all the members of the Indian contingent are now categorised as high risk and have to self-quarantine in their hotel rooms.

Only players scheduled to play today will be allowed to come to the venue and no coaches, managers or other personnel were allowed, the officials said.

After testing positive, both Saina and Prannoy have been taken to the hospital to be isolated for a minimum period of 10 days.

READ| Olympic hopefuls Sindhu, Saina eye good outing on return at Thailand Open

In a related development, P. Kashyap has also withdrawn from the tournament and is quarantined in his hotel room due to close proximity with Saina,” BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania said in a statement.

“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 added.

Late in the evening a BAI source informed Sportstar that world champion P.V. Sindhu who crashed out in the first round will stay back for the next event in Bangkok.