In a major blow to the Indian badminton contingent, star shuttlers Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday and have subsequently pulled out of the Thailand Open. Nehwal was due to play on Tuesday in the first round against Kisona Selvaduray but gave her a walkover. Both players have been taken to hospital for further treatment and will be isolated for a minimum of 10 days.
The entire Indian badminton contingent had cleared the COVID-19 test and had been training as a part of the Green Zone, consisting of players and all stakeholders including umpires, line judges, personnel from BWF, Badminton Association of Thailand, medical staff, and TV production crew on January 6 according to ESPN. The recent results were obtained from the third round of testing, with the first two results returning as negative. Incidentally, both Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy had attended the wedding of fellow player RMV Gurusaidutt in November and had tested positive weeks later. It is reported that Parupalli Kashyap, Nehwal's husband, will also withdraw after having been in close contact with her.
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.. @bwfmedia https://t.co/ETkWiNVHnP— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) January 12, 2021
Saina Nehwal took to Twitter moments after the news broke out, with the Badminton Association of India also confirming the test results on social media. The 30-year-old claimed that still hadn't received her COVID-19 report from Monday and the situation is very confusing. Nehwal claimed that he was informed of her test results just before the warm-up for the match against Kisona Selvaduray and was advised to go to the hospital in Bangkok. Saina further said that according to the rules, the results should arrive five hours after the tests, and tagged BWF media, for clarity on the situation.
Why no chance of rescheduling the match if false positive . ? https://t.co/84ohZBAWnE— Parupalli Kashyap (@parupallik) January 12, 2021
Four players, including HS Prannoy, Gurusaidutt, Parupalli Kashyap and Pranav Jerry Chopra had tested positive in the earlier rounds, with three returning as negative after the latest round of testing. Kashyap, who was one of the players who tested negative, further questioned the BWF, claiming that why is there no chance of rescheduling the match if the results of the test were a 'false positive'. HS Prannoy also retweeted the comment, sounding out his agreement for the same. Kashyap was to play his first-round match against Canada's Jason Anthony Ho-Shue on Tuesday but is likely to have pulled out.