Hyderabad: India’s women’s singles world champion, PV Sindhu, alongside her father, PV Ramana, have been ramping up precautions as Indian World No. 28 women’s doubles player N. Sikki Reddy and team physiotherapist Kiran Challagunda were tested positive for COVID-19.
On Tuesday, Sports Authority of India (SAI) conducted the Covid-19 test for Indian shuttlers, coaches, and staff. While PV Sindhu, her father, and India’s national coach Pullela Gopichand were tested negative on Wednesday, the test results of Reddy and Challagunda came on Thursday morning.
Although Reddy and Challagunda were asymptomatic, the Indian national training camp which began after a gap of three-and-half months on August 7 at SAI Pullela Gopichand Academy, has been closed for deep cleaning and disinfection purposes.
Speaking to Indian media, Sindhu’s father, PV Ramana said that he has specifically requested that only Sindhu’s coach, Park Tae Sang, Gopichand, and himself were allowed to enter the training facility as long as Sindhu is still inside the building.
“I have informed Mr. Gopi that after we resume, we should let Sindhu train from 6 am to 8.30 am, and I will be in the building at 5.30 am to sanitize the net, poles, and clean up places where Sindhu used to sit. Sindhu and I will leave by 8.30 am,” said Ramana.
“I also made it clear that if anyone except coach Park and Mr. Gopi, enters the building during that period, we will not train at that location anymore,” added Ramana.
Meanwhile, other shuttlers and support staff were worried that they came into contact with Reddy and Challagunda as the physio had even touched a few players.
However, Ramana said Sindhu didn’t practice with others, and wouldn’t need another test so soon.
“She trained with Park and Gopi and probably only said ‘Hi’ to Sikki but didn’t interact with anyone. On 13th, it was only me and Park with Sindhu,” explained Ramana.
Sindhu has since moved her physical fitness training to another facility – the Suchitra Academy.
“Even at Suchitra Academy, I sanitize all the weights, metal bars, and other equipment, and only me, Srikant (Sindhu’s trainer) and Sindhu are allowed during the training session,” said Ramana.