3 Hanshin Tigers Players Test Positive for Coronavirus

Sports Society Lifestyle

Nishinomiya, Hyogo Pref., March 27 (Jiji Press)--Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shintaro Fujinami and two of his teammates have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the first professional baseball players in Japan found infected with the virus, the western Japan-based team said Friday.

The confirmation of their infections may lead to a further delay in the opening of this year's regular season for Japanese professional baseball.

Fujinami, 25, and the two Tigers teammates, outfielder Hayata Ito, 30, and catcher Kenya Nagasaka, 25, underwent PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for the virus on Thursday. They have been hospitalized.

"I've been informed that they are recovering," Kenji Ageshio, president of Hanshin Tigers Baseball Club Ltd., told reporters at the team's home ground, Hanshin Koshien Stadium in the city of Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture. Other than the three, nobody linked to the team, including the families of players, has been confirmed with the coronavirus, Ageshio said.

According to the team, Fujinami was advised by a doctor to take a coronavirus test after experiencing a problem with his sense of smell and taste a few days earlier. Ito and Nagasaka, who had dinner with Fujinami on March 14, were also encouraged to visit a medical institution after complaining of similar symptoms.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press