Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy Test Positive for COVID-19

Saina Nehwal has been forced to withdraw from the Thailand Open in Bangkok after she tested positive for COVID-19.

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Saina Nehwal 

Ace Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy have been forced to withdraw from the Thailand Open in Bangkok after testing positive for COVID-19, the Badminton Association of India confirmed on Tuesday.

Both players have been isolated in hospital for at least 10 days. Reports suggest, Saina’s husband and fellow Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap has also been taken to the hospital but his report status is yet to be confirmed.

Saina last participated in the All England Open in March last year and Tuesday's game was supposed to be her first since the outbreak of coronavirus.

“We are constantly in touch with the BWF as well as the organisers and our team management and players. These are unprecedented times but BWF is doing everything to ensure full support to our players including their safety,” Badminton Association of India (BAI) General Secretary Ajay Singhania said.

“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.

This is the second time Saina has caught coronavirus, having recovered from it only a few weeks ago.

Saina had recently raised concerns over the fitness of the athletes after physios and trainers were restricted from meeting the badminton players during the entirety of their Thailand tour.

The Indian shuttlers are in Bangkok for Thailand Open 2021 as badminton resumed ahead of the Tokyo Olympics after a gap of almost 300 days.

Tuesday marked the first round of the tournament but ace Indian shuttler Saina gave a walkover as she tested COVID-19 positive.

Apart from Saina, the Indian squad in Bangkok for the Thailand Open includes badminton world champion PV Sindhu and Olympic hopefuls Kidambi Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth.

The team also consists of star men's doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, and doubles players Ashwini Ponappa and N. Sikki Reddy.

H.S. Prannoy, Parupalli Kashyap, Sameer Verma, Dhruv Kapila, and Manu Attri are the rest of the players in the team.

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