Indian Open 2022: B Sai Praneeth withdraws from tournament after testing positive for COVID-19
Another Indian player, double specialist Dhruv Rawat, also tested positive for the virus.
Top Indian shuttler B Sai Praneeth, who won the 2019 World Championships bronze medal, on Sunday pulled out of the season-opening India Open Super 500 tournament after testing positive for COVID-19.
“Yes, I have tested positive for COVID-19 in RT-PCR test. I had cold and cough since yesterday. I am isolating at home,” Praneeth told PTI.
“I will have to wait for at least a week before testing again. It is an important year and there is hardly any time to regain fitness. I hope I can get back to court quickly.”
Badminton Association of India general secretary Ajay Singhania also confirmed Praneeth’s withdrawal from the $400,000 tournament.
Another Indian player, double specialist Dhruv Rawat, also tested positive for the virus ahead of his departure for the national capital to participate in the tournament starting on Tuesday.
Rawat didn’t have any symptoms and underwent RT-PCR tests before leaving for Delhi.
In January last year, Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy had tested positive in Thailand but were found to be negative after re-examination.
Organised by the Badminton Association of India, the 2022 edition of India Open will be held behind closed doors at the Indira Gandhi Stadium’s KD Jadhav Indoor Hall with the governing body laying down strict COVID-19 protocols.
“All the participating players will be taking the necessary safety precautions right from their arrival in New Delhi as per protocol, and will be tested everyday at the hotel and from there they will be having shuttle buses to come to the stadium, play matches and go back to the hotel again,” the BAI said in a release.
“All the players as well as tournament, match officials, BWF and BAI officials, support staff, vendors and others involved will have to go through a mandatory COVID test each day outside the stadium, and only after being tested negative they will be allowed inside the venue. BAI will not compromise on the safety of the players as well as others involved, and will be following all the COVID-19 guidelines given by the government.”
PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth were among the Indian players who arrived in the national capital on Sunday, while Nehwal will land on Monday.
Top shuttlers, including world champion Loh Kean Yew and three-time men’s doubles world champion Mohammad Ahsan, had their first training session in Delhi on Sunday.
COVID-19 update: India reports 2,841 new cases, nine deaths in last 24 hours, active cases dip to 18,604
The fresh COVID-19 infections reported on Friday were marginally higher than 2,827 cases logged on Thursday. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.58 per cent, while the weekly positivity rate was 0.69 per cent
On Wednesday, Chinese capital Beijing recorded just 51 local virus infections including asymptomatic ones, while Shanghai reported nearly 5,000, a downward trend as the city loosens some restrictions
With the exception of the Winter Olympics — held in a virus-secure, closed-loop Beijing bubble — China has cancelled or postponed almost all events since Covid emerged in Wuhan in late 2019.