Bangkok: Hours after testing COVID-19 positive, Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy tested negative for the virus and have been allowed to play their first-round matches at the ongoing Thailand Open, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Association of India (BAI) confirmed.
''Both Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy have been cleared to participate in the ongoing Yonex Thailand Open after the fourth-round tests reports confirmed that both shuttlers have been tested negative for COVID-19,'' BAI said in a statement.
''BAI have taken up the matter with topmost BWF officials to ensure if tests were negative, matches for respective players should be rescheduled and no walkover is given,'' it added.
Both Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy’s COVID tests had returned positive on Tuesday morning and were sent into hospital quarantine. The two were asked to withdraw from the tournament as was Saina’s husband Parupalli Kashyap, who was sent to self-quarantine as the couple had shared a room.
Saina and Prannoy were then subjected to a second PCR test and antibody test each later in the day for further confirmation.Though both tested positive on the antibody test, their PCR tests came back negative, which meant that they had been infected with the COVID-19 virus at some point in the past but does not mean that they are currently infected.
The negative results declared that they did not pose a threat and were declared fit to play at the Thailand Open.''Nehwal and Parupalli’s singles matches – declared a walkover earlier today – will be rescheduled for tomorrow,'' BWF said in a statement.
However, Parupalli Kashyap's participation in the tournament will depend on his test result.
HS Prannoy had contracted COVID-19 in December last year after he had attended the wedding of fellow shuttler RMV Gurusaidutt while Saina Nehwal had also reportedly tested COVID-positive then.(UNI)