Male singles players HS Prannoy and Sameer Verma and mixed doubles player Pranaav Jerry Chopra are among four Indians who tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the All-England Open in London.
Masseur G. Srinivas is the fourth member of the Indian contingent to return a positive result. However, the players and support staff received their test results only orally and did not officially send the reports.
“None of them received their reports, they were all told orally,” an Indian Badminton Association (BAI) official told IANS on Wednesday. “No one has received their reports and all members of the Indian contingent must remain in their rooms, in accordance with the protocol,” the official added.
The contingent was tested for the second time on Tuesday and is now awaiting results. If Prannoy, Verma and Chopra get a positive result again, the three players will have to withdraw from the tournament and their opponents will get along. This could also jeopardize N. Siki Reddy’s mixed doubles campaign, as she is Chopra’s partner in the event.
Originally scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time (2:30 p.m. IST) on Wednesday, the All England Open was postponed due to several cases of positive tests among players and employees from multiple countries. The tournament will now start at 14:00 GMT (19:30 IST) on Wednesday.
The schedule for the matches on Day 1 will be announced after the announcement of the results of the second round of tests taken on Tuesday. “They have not yet announced the schedule for the matches. Many players from Denmark and Malaysia have passed positive results, so they are all treated in the same way,” said the official.
India’s couples coach Matthias Boe has previously said it is absurd how Indians can have a positive test for the virus. “We have three players and one support staff member who have tested positive. I find it completely absurd how this can happen, as we have been isolated in Zurich since the Swiss Open started two weeks ago,” said Indian sport’s Boe. tv2.dk.
“We were tested 5 times in 14 days and all the tests were negative. We only understood each other, so how can they suddenly get a positive result?” he added.
The testing process was something that left several players puzzled by the 2012 London Olympics bronze medalist Saina Neval and her husband Parupali Kasyap, who wrote their disappointments.
“Okay, I have to do this now! The matches start tomorrow at @YonexAllEngland and there are still no reports of the Covid test done 30 hours ago. No training, no fitness … for 2 days. @Bwfmedia,” Saina tweeted.
“What kind of testing is this? 31 hours later it’s still unconvincing and a repeat test again God knows when … the matches start tomorrow! @YonexAllEngland @bwfmedia #beyondabsurd #ridiculous,” tweeted Kashyap