The upcoming India Open (May 11-16) is set to go ahead despite concerns of surging COVID-19 cases in the country, as the Badminton Association of India (BAI) confirmed the tournament will be played behind closed doors.
“Due to rapidly rising Covid-19 cases in the country, the tournament will be contested in a bio-secure bubble without spectators and media while implementing strict COVID-19 protocols.
“All players and officials coming from South Africa, Brazil, Middle East and European countries including the United Kingdom will be serving a seven-day quarantine period and have to report in the capital city on May 3,” the BAI said in a statement.
Shuttlers from Asia, including Malaysia, can arrive on May 6 and undergo a four-day quarantine. The announcement came as the Indian government announced curfew measures after COVID-19 cases surpassed 14 million nationwide.
As of now, the Super 500 event is set to boast the participation of almost all the top shuttlers, including Kento Momota, Lee Zii Jia, Viktor Axelsen, P. V. Sindhu, Carolina Marin and Akane Yamaguchi.
Meanwhile, Lee finally received his first dose of the Pfizer-BionTech vaccine after missing out on Tuesday's vaccination drive for Tokyo-bound athletes as he was feeling unwell.
Almost all the national shuttlers travelling to India were vaccinated with the first dose, and are set to receive their second dose in three weeks just before departing.