Thailand Open badminton tournament 'safe to continue' after COVID-19 cases: BWF

Thailand Open badminton tournament 'safe to continue' after COVID-19 cases: BWF

The Thailand Open is being played under strict health protocols
The Thailand Open is being played under strict health protocols AFP/Handout

BANGKOK: The Thailand Open has been declared safe to proceed after three coronavirus cases on the first two days, the Badminton World Federation said on Thursday (Jan 14).

One Egyptian player was withdrawn and a German coach and French staff member are under hospital observation after testing positive at badminton's restart tournament.

Three other players also tested positive, before doctors ruled they were historic infections. But Thai health authorities have ruled the event can continue, the BWF said.

"The tournament has been deemed safe to continue by the Thai health authorities," the governing body said in a statement to AFP, adding that all players tested on Tuesday were negative.

READ: Three badminton players who tested positive for COVID-19 cleared to return for Thailand Open - BWF

The Thailand Open is the first of three consecutive tournaments played in a bio-secure "bubble" in Bangkok as badminton resumes after a coronavirus-ravaged 2020.

Thai badminton chief Patama Leeswadtrakul said limited numbers of cases had been expected, and that organisers are following procedures laid down by Thailand's health ministry.

"All in the bubble are from all over the world - we haven't expected zero cases of COVID-19," Patama told AFP.

"We have strong intentions to make this event a success," she said, adding that the players "still have high spirits".

READ: World badminton number one Momota positive for COVID-19, Japan to miss Thailand Open

All players will face the next round of mandatory testing on Friday, the BWF said.

Source: AFP/jt

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