Covid virus smashes into two Malaysian meets

KUALA LUMPUR: COVID-19 has hit badminton in Malaysia.

Several high-profile players, tournament officials and media personnel were infected by Covid-19 at last week's Malaysia Open at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.

And as a result, several players have withdrawn from the ongoing Malaysia Masters.

Following a surge in cases, it will now be wise for the organisers of the Malaysia Masters to implement stricter standard operating procedures.

Several players, including Malaysia's Ong Yew Sin (men's doubles) and Lai Pei Jing (mixed doubles), and Taiwan's Lee Yang-Wang Chi Lin, have withdrawn from the Super 500 Malaysia Masters after coming down with Covid-19 last week.

BA of Malaysia (BAM) secretary general Datuk Kenny Goh is also recovering from Covid-19.

Pei Jing and partner Tan Kian Meng, the 2017 winners, withdrew yesterday and were replaced by compatriots Choong Hon Jian-Peck Yen Wei in the main draw.

Pei Jing took to Instagram to share a photo of her test kit, indicating her positive result and wrote: "Life is unpredictable. Sore throat since yesterday morning (Monday), had fever the whole night and tested positive this morning."

Kian Meng has tested negative and will play in the men's doubles with Tan Wee Kiong.

It is now feared that more players may get infected and withdraw from the Malaysia Masters, after coming in close contact with media practitioners and tournament officials, both in the stadium and the mixed zone, during the Malaysia Open.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) should take note of the Covid-19 surge in Kuala Lumpur and get other host nations of international tournaments to implement stricter guidelines

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