Bangkok [Thailand]: Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT) on Tuesday confirmed that Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy, who earlier tested positive for coronavirus, have been cleared to take part in the ongoing Thailand Open.
"Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT) can confirm three of the four players who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier today at the Asian Leg of the BWF World Tour have been cleared to take their place in the YONEX Thailand Open. They are confirmed as Saina Nehwal (India), HS Prannoy (India), and Jones Ralfy Jansen (Germany)," BWF said in a statement.
Nehwal and Parupalli's singles matches -- declared a walkover earlier on Tuesday -- will be rescheduled for Wednesday. BWF said the fourth player, Adham Hatem Elgamal from Egypt, has been withdrawn.
Nehwal and Prannoy were earlier taken to hospital while Jansen and Elgamal self-quarantined in the hotel. Nehwal's husband Kashyap Parupalli was also asked to self-quarantine due to the married couple sharing a room.
"Upon retesting the four players' samples earlier today, Prannoy, Jansen and Elgamal returned negative, while Nehwal was found to be positive again. The four players then underwent a second PCR test and an antibody blood test for further confirmation. This evening, BWF received the results and reasoned decisions from the Diagnosis and Investigation Committee of the Thailand Ministry of Public Health -- a working group of six doctors that has been formed just for this tournament," the statement read.
BWF said Nehwal, Prannoy and Jansen tested positive on the PCR test but their antibody IgG was positive. A positive antibody test means a person has been infected with the COVID-19 virus at some point in the past. It does not mean they are currently infected. The trio all contracted COVID-19 in late 2020. "The committee was satisfied that they are not infected and do not pose a danger to the tournament," BWF said.
However, Elgamal tested positive on the PCR test but his antibody IgG was negative, indicating that he has no antibodies for the virus. Elgamal had not contracted COVID-19 before. BWF said the committee advised for the player to be withdrawn.
"Elgamal, a mixed doubles player, will now be taken to hospital for further observation and tests and will remain in isolation for a minimum 10 days at the hospital. His mixed doubles match with partner Doha Hany scheduled for this evening has been postponed," BWF said.
BWF also said: "Subsequently, the Egyptian team are considered high risk. Hany is categorised as direct contact and therefore has to self-quarantine and be tested daily until further notice. Women's singles player Hadia Hosny is a close contact and can play subject to a negative test."