NEW DELHI: IN a setback to the men's hockey team, five players, including skipper Manpreet Singh, tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday. Surender Kumar, Jaskaran Singh, Krishan Pathak and Varun Kumar were the other four players to test positive.
This is the first time that high profile Indian athletes have returned positive tests at the same time.
All of them had recently returned to the SAI campus in Bengaluru after going on a break for more than a month. Upon returning, they were administered rapid Covid-19 tests before the players were asked to quarantine in their respective rooms for a two week period according to state government rules.
Even though all five had returned negative results on the rapid test, as Manpreet and Surender
had developed symptoms, they undertook the RT-PCR test on Thursday. The results were conveyed to SAI by the state government, according to a press release by SAI.
"All four tested negative in the rapid test. However, since Manpreet and Surender began to display some Covid-19 symptoms later, they along with other ten athletes who had travelled together were given the Quantitative RT-PCR test on Thursday, and the four have been found to be Covid positive," the release said.
After the release dropped, Krishan also tested positive for the virus. The release stated that since all four travelled together to Bengaluru, they might have picked it up then.
"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."
In all 12 athletes travelled together to join the camp, and all of them have been administered the RT-PCR
tests. A few more test results are awaited. The athletes are being kept in isolation for the moment.
"All athletes, including Manpreet, who reported to camp were undergoing quarantine as per the Health
Ministry guidelines and as a precautionary measure, were kept in isolation to arrest the possibility of transmission of the virus. The quarantined athletes did not interact with other athletes who were already present at the camp," the release noted.
The 28-year-old Manpreet said he was doing fine according to the press release. "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.”
Meanwhile, sources said it was too early to make a call about the cancellation of the camp. As per the original plan, it's supposed to start around August 20.