Five India hockey players test COVID-19 positive on arrival at SAI Bengaluru

SAI made rapid COVID-19 test mandatory for all athletes who reported back to camp

manpreet-singh-hockey-pti (File) Indian hockey team captain Manpreet Singh during a press conference in Bhubaneswar | PTI

Indian hockey captain Manpreet Singh, and four other players who reported to the National Hockey Camp in Sports Authority of India's National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in Bengaluru along with the team, have tested positive for COVID-19.

SAI had made rapid COVID-19 test mandatory for all athletes who reported back to the camp upon arrival, the cases came to light. Since all the athletes who tested positive had travelled together, there is a high likelihood that they contracted the virus while travelling from their hometowns to Bengaluru.

All had tested negative in the rapid test. However, since Manpreet and Surender began to display some COVID-19 symptoms later, they along with other 10 athletes who had travelled together, took the Quantitative RT-PCR test on Thursday, and the five were found positive. Though the test results have still not been handed over to the SAI, the state government has informed the SAI authorities of the results. Few test results are still awaited.

All athletes, including Manpreet, were undergoing quarantine as per the health ministry guidelines and as a precautionary measure were kept in isolation to prevent the possibility of transmission of the virus. The quarantined athletes did not interact with other athletes who were already present at the camp.

The SOP of the state government and of SAI is being followed strictly across the campus. Speaking from Bengaluru, Manpreet said, "I am self quarantined on the SAI campus and I am very happy with the way SAI authorities have handled the situation. I am very happy that they made the testing of athletes mandatory. That proactive step helped in identifying the problem right in time. I am doing fine and hope to recover very soon.” 


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