Don’t stigmatise those infected with Covid-19: Manpreet Singh | Hockey News

NEW DELHI: Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh remembers vividly the afternoon of August 7, Friday, when he and four other players were told by the authorities that they had tested positive for Covid-19. The national campers had assembled at the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) Bengaluru centre for the Tokyo Olympic preparatory camp after a month-long home break.
“It was quite shocking and mentally stressful. The first reaction was ‘how is it possible’? How did I get it? My parents, family members and friends (in Punjab) had all tested negative. The mind was full of so many questions,” Manpreet told TOI in an interview on Tuesday, opening up about his successful fight against the virus.

“When we arrived at the camp, we went into 14-day quarantine period and were self-isolating ourselves. Later, I realised that I was losing my sense of taste and smell. I undertook the RT-PCR test and was found to be infected by the virus. Probably, I got it from someone on the flight to Bengaluru.”
However, instead of fretting over it, Manpreet took the difficult situation in his stride and began following the advice of SAI and Hockey India‘s (HI) medical team with a calm mind.
“The officials and doctors attending to me told me there was no reason to panic and that I would be able to overcome this disease. The problem with this virus is the social stigma attached. To all those people infected by the virus, I would say that I am a survivor and have successfully defeated this disease. If you remain positive in your thoughts, follow the doctor’s advice, take your medicines on time, self-isolate yourself and follow masks and social distancing norms. All of us like me can defeat the virus,” he stated.
“During the time I was hospitalised, I never allowed any negative thoughts to cross my mind. I believed in the treatment just like all other hospitalised hockey players. Our tele-treatment was done regularly and oxygen levels were monitored every single minute. We were regularly attending the zoom meetings and in touch with our team members.”
How has been the recovery post covid-19? “A separate training programme has been prepared for us (Covid-affected players). We returned to training only a couple of weeks back after clearing our ECG, blood test and chest X-ray. At present, we are training at our 60-70 percent capacity. We had started with warm-ups, brisk walking and light jogging. Our heart rate can’t go beyond the maximum limit of 160-165 bpm. If it breaches that limit, our trainer will immediately ask us to slow down. We wear GPS and keep oximeter with us all the time. Everything depends on our heart rate and oxygen levels,” he said.

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