Japanese Pro Baseball Player Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Sports Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, March 26 (Jiji Press)--Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shintaro Fujinami has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, club officials said Thursday, becoming the first Japanese professional baseball player to contract the virus.

The discovery of the infection could cause the opening of this year's season to be postponed further, sources familiar with the situation said.

Fujinami, 25, has been treated at several hospitals in Hyogo Prefecture, where the Tigers are based, in recent days after complaining of a weak sense of smell.

The club has called on two other players who complained of similar symptoms after dining with Fujinami on March 14 to see doctors. Players and coaches have been instructed to suspend activities for at least a week, while club staff have been asked to stay home.

The Nippon Professional Baseball Organization has postponed the start of the season from Friday due to the spread of the coronavirus in the country. On Monday, the league set April 24 as the target date for the season's opening.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press