Tennis star flying from Covid-infested America where 4,000 people are dying a day is allowed to fly to Australia for the Open – despite testing positive just 48 hours ago
Over 4000 people a day are dying from the virus in the US but the world number 50 posted to Twitter he’s ‘on the plane’ and headed for the Australian Open which gets underway February 8.
Sandgren made it to the second round of the tournament in 2020 but after contracting Covid on November 25, it appeared the power hitter would likely miss this year’s competition.
The US has been hit harder by the Covid pandemic than any other nation in the world with close to 400,000 deaths and a record 300,000 infections reported in a single day last week.
The 29-year-old tweeted that he was still testing positive for the virus up until 72 hours ago.
‘Covid positive over Thanksgiving. Covid positive on Monday. Yet PCR tests are the ‘gold standard’? he posted to social media on Thursday.
‘At least I get to keep my [ranking] points (laugh emoji)’.
Sandgren told followers he wasn’t sure if he could get on the flight and that the plane leaving LAX was being held for him.
‘Wait hold on I think they are trying to get me on 15 minutes after the plane was supposed to depart.. my bags still aren’t checked lol,’ he tweeted.
‘Wow I’m on the plane. Maybe I just held my breath too long. Craig Tiley is a wizard,’ he added referring to the Tennis Australia CEO.
Sandgren copped a serve online from some Twitter followers accusing him of putting other’s health at risk by boarding the plane.
‘A lot couch virologists out there,’ he posted.
‘My two tests were less than eight weeks a part. I was sick in November, totally healthy now.
‘There’s not a single documented case where I would be contagious at this point. Totally recovered!
A Tennis Australia spokesperson said some people who have recovered from COVID-19 and who are non-infectious can continue to shed the virus for several months.
‘Victorian Government public health experts assess each case based on additional detailed medical records to ensure they are not infectious before checking in to the charter flights,’ Tennis Australia said.
‘Players and their teams are tested every day from their arrival in Australia; a much stricter process than for anyone else in hotel quarantine.’
Up to 1,200 players and support staff are expected to arrive in Melbourne from Thursday for the summer tournament .
Australian Open organisers have chartered 15 flights to bring those involved in the multi-million dollar event with everyone set to undergo 14 days of hotel quarantine ahead of the Grand Slam.
The players will be staying at the The Grand Hyatt, the View on St Kilda Road and the Pullman in Albert Park – and allowed outside to train for five hours a day once they test negative.