New COVID-19 Advisory Leaves Saina, Kashyap & Srikanth in the Dark
Saina, Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap are in Birmingham and were set to return to India.
Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap have an uncertain few hours ahead of them after getting knocked out in the opening round of the All England Championships.
However, their elimination is not the only thing that is weighing on their minds. The shuttlers have been travelling across Europe for the last few weeks participating in tournaments in an attempt to win more Olympic qualification points ahead of the cut-off date in April.
In the last week of February, the players all took part in the Barcelona Open, a city that has seen many cases of coronavirus and that has now put their return to India under a cloud.
According to the latest health advisory announced by the Health Ministry, “All incoming travelers, including Indians, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain & Germany after 15th Feb, 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days.”
This would include India’s top badminton players who are returning to India on 12 March after their defeat at the All England. They have been in Europe since the Barcelona Open in February.
However, being put into quarantine for 2 weeks will deal their Olympic qualification hopes a major setback as it will mean Saina and Srikanth will have to miss out on training and also qualification events.
Saina’s husband and also Indian men’s badminton player Parupalli Kashyap tweeted to the health minister, asking to speak to him urgently.
“We are in Birmingham for a tournament and we are not sure about our situation considering the health advisory issued yesterday. Can we please speak to you urgently?” his tweet said.
Boxers in 'Home-Quarantine'
Also returning to India over the next 24 hours is the boxing team which just wrapped up the Olympic qualification event in Jordan, Amman.
However, the entire 13-member squad had been training in Italy for a few weeks before travelling to Amman and thus there were concerns regarding weather they too would need to be quarantined.
The boxing federation however has clarified that all boxers have been asked to be "home-quarantined" even though all have got the necessary health clearances.
"They will be asked to quarantine themselves at their homes or hostel rooms for a few days. They have, however, been given the necessary health clearances by the Jordanian Olympic association," Boxing Federation of India's Executive Director RK Sacheti said.
The boxers were training in Italy, one of the worst-affected by the coronavirus pandemic, till 26 February.
They reached Amman from Assisi on 27 February and were found all clear after undergoing the mandatory screening for symptoms. Jordan has so far recorded only one positive case.
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