Updated: March 17, 2021 8:29:32 am
Danish media Sport TV2 on Tuesday reported that the All England tournament could be in jeopardy after seven members of 3 nations tested positive at Birmingham.
TV2 in another report also said 3 Indians and 1 support staff were amongst the 7 who returned the positive. Indian contingent was tested at 8 am on Monday, but reports of 8 of the 25 samples came in later than the others.
Start of play will be delayed by five hours on Wednesday on account of re-tests.
While TV2 Sport named Danish assistant national coach Thomas Stavngaard, the report also added that “Indian and Thailand squads as well as Malaysians who were on the same plane might be affected.”
Danish coach Kenneth Johannsen was quoted as saying, ”The most important thing for us is to follow the right guidelines, but we will fight to get as many Danes in the tournament as possible,” pointing to the squads pleading with UK authorities to consider a PCR re-test.
“In the current All England draw, about 70 out of 160 players / pairs stand to be left out of the tournament if you count people on board the plane as close contacts,” Sport TV2 said.
Saina Nehwal tweeted late on Tuesday that Kashyap’s reports had returned inconclusive in what was a replay of the Thailand nightmare – where her previous infection from November threw up a positive, but she was allowed to play after an anti-body report.
While two others besides Kashyap have confirmed positives (though both had tested positive for the infection last year), the entire group including PV Sindhu who trained in Zurich had taken the same flight into UK.
English health authorities, Public Health England, Badminton England and the International Badminton Federation, BWF, were in the process of determining close contacts at the time of going to press.
The tournament protocols state that all persons boarding the same plane are “close contacts” and will be sent to 10-day self-isolation. Roommates and doubles partners are also considered close contacts, according to tourney protocols.
The Danes also took a 2-hour bus ride into Birmingham.
Indians who had stayed on in Switzerland training after Basel had not trained at the All England courts since arriving on Monday. Nehwal tweeted: “Ok I have to do this now ! Matches are starting tomorrow at the @YonexAllEngland and still no reports of the Covid test done 30hrs before . No practice , no gym .. for 2 days.”
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