Mandeep 6th men’s hockey camper to test Covid-19 positive
The number of Covid-19 cases in the India men’s hockey camp in Bengaluru rose to six on Monday with forward Mandeep Singh also testing positive, after skipper Manpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Jaskaran Singh, Varun Kumar and Krishan Pathak tested positive at the weekend on returning from home.
“Mandeep is asymptomatic. He is being administered treatment by doctors along with the other five players who have tested positive,” a Sports Authority of India (SAI) statement said. The campers are at SAI’s National Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru.
The spate of positive cases is unlikely to affect the Indian hockey team’s preparations, which resumed after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was postponed to next year. There are no competitions at least until mid-November, giving players enough time to regain their peak in terms of fitness and game.
The Covid-19 cases were found when the 33 campers, confined to the SAI centre since March due to the lockdown and then allowed to go home in June end, began assembling ahead of the August 4 deadline.
In all 32 players have been tested. The results of 20 players have come, and those of 12 are awaited. Manipur-based Chinglensana Singh’s return to the camp has been delayed due to personal reasons, a team official said.
The camp was due to begin after a fortnight’s mandatory quarantine period, but could be delayed. “Since SAI is running the camp, it would be in the best position to answer these questions,” Hockey India (HI) high performance director David John said. SAI is expected to take a call once it gets all results of the tests being done by the Karnataka state government.
All the players who have reported at the camp are in isolation, as per quarantine protocol. Their meals are left on a chair outside their rooms. They are not allowed to step out and exercise inside their rooms. “It is absolute isolation. We haven’t even seen each other’s faces,” a player said on condition of anonymity.
India’s next tournament is the six-team Asian Champions Trophy in Dhaka, from November 17 to 27. It could be postponed or cancelled if the pandemic situation does not improve. Their next important event is the FIH Pro League in April 2021.