Neil Powell. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/THINUS MARITZ
Neil Powell. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/THINUS MARITZ

Blitzboks coach Neil Powell and two SA under-23 footballers have tested positive for Covid-19 in Japan, the SA team management said in a statement from Tokyo on Sunday.  

Powell is in an isolation facility in Kagoshima where the sevens squad have been in camp.  

Thabiso Monyane, Kamohelo Mahlatsi and video analyst Mario Masha have been placed in the Tokyo 2020 isolation facility.   

“The rest of the team has already tested negative twice and is following closely all the recommendations of the local health authorities. Every member of Team SA required full medical clearance as an eligibility criteria,” the team’s chief medical officer, Phatho Zondi, said in the statement.

“In addition, they were encouraged to isolate for two weeks pre-departure, monitor health daily, report any symptoms, and produce two negative nasopharyngeal PCR tests taken within 96 hours of departure, as per Tokyo 2020 requirements.   

“The timing of the positive results suggests that the PCR test in these individuals was done during the incubation period of the infection, which is how they could be negative in SA and then positive in Japan.

“They are now in isolation where they will continue to be monitored and will not be allowed to train or have any physical contact with the rest of the squad,” Zondi said. ​ 

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