THE BA of Malaysia (BAM) are on standby for all eventualities as their coaching director Wong Choong Hann has tested positive for Covid-19.
Choong Hann, who was among 39 players and coaches who underwent the mandatory pre-tournament swab tests on Saturday, was the only one who returned with a positive result.
Despite the setback, the national shuttlers will still travel to Bangkok today for the BWF Tour Asian leg, that runs from Jan 12-Jan 31.
Choong Hann, 43, who is asymptomatic, is currently going through a period of self-isolation per the Health Ministry’s guidelines.
BAM secretary-general Datuk Kenny Goh did, however, preached caution as Choong Hann was admittedly within contact of the players during training sessions.
“He was with the players during training sessions. However, we had strict standard operating procedures in place during training,” said Kenny.
“Therefore, even though Choong Hann is down with Covid-19, the other players all tested negative, and they will still be cleared for departure.
“The good thing about the tournament in Thailand is that the players will still have to undergo several Covid-19 tests.
“So we’ll still be going ahead, except for Choong Hann who has to stay home now, and hopefully no one returns a positive test in the coming days.”
The ones heading to Bangkok are Lee Zii Jia, Liew Daren (men’s singles), Soniia Cheah (women’s singles), Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani (men’s doubles), Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean, Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen, Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (women’s double), Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See (mixed doubles).
Also joining the entourage are coaches Hendrawan, Flandi Limpele, Indra Wijaya, Chan Chong Ming and Paulus Firman.
Upon arrival in Thailand, the players will have to undergo quarantine until Jan 11, a day before the Yonex Thailand Open.
They will also undergo a swab test every three days, for a total of five to seven swab tests.
Those who qualify for the BWF World Tour Finals on Jan 27-31 will also need to go through two more swab tests — before the tournament and before their return to Malaysia.
Source: New Straits Times