COVID positive Indian hockey players admitted to hospital as precaution

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) is taking all steps to ensure safety of players ahead of the national camp scheduled to start August 19.

By Rahul Venkat

The five Indian hockey team members, who had tested positive for COVID-19, have been admitted to the SS Sparsh multi-specialty hospital in Bengaluru as a precautionary measure, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) said on Wednesday.

This follows the hospitalisation of Indian hockey team striker Mandeep Singh to the same facility a day earlier after his blood oxygen levels had dipped below normal.

The five players are skipper Manpreet Singh, goalkeeper Krishan Pathak, midfielder Jaskaran Singh and defenders Surender Kumar and Varun Kumar.

“The decision to hospitalise them was taken so as to ensure that the players were attended to at all times and could be given the best possible treatment,” the SAI said. 

“All six athletes are in good health and recovering well.”

The affected players’ vitals are still being monitored four times a day.

Skipper Manpreet Singh was among six players to be hospitalised after testing COVID positive. Photo: Hockey India

The five players had travelled together for the national camp at the SAI’s National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in Bengaluru and had initially tested negative in the rapid test administered as per the SAI’s Standard Operation Procedure (SOP).

However, Manpreet Singh and Surender Kumar experienced some mild symptoms and the coronavirus was detected only then.

The players had reported to the SAI’s Bengaluru campus after a month-long break. It has been reported that some Punjab players had broken social distancing norms during a hike on bicycles.

The campers had earlier spent more than two months in Bengaluru when the nation-wide lockdown was announced.

However, in some encouraging news from the hockey camp, none of the players from the women’s team tested positive for COVID-19.

The Indian hockey women’s team, who have already booked its spot for the Tokyo Olympics next year, will resume training at the national camp at SAI, Bengaluru in the next few days.