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Hanshin Tigers pitcher Fujinami 1st pro ballplayer in Japan with coronavirus

Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shintaro Fujinami became the first professional baseball player in Japan to test positive for the new coronavirus, a source with knowledge of the matter said Thursday.
The 25-year-old right-hander, considered one of the top prizes of Nippon Professional Baseball's 2012 amateur draft, had reported losing his sense of smell a few days earlier, although he exhibited no other symptoms such as coughing or a fever.
Fujinami was examined at a hospital in Hyogo Prefecture on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a doctor recommended he have a PCR test for the new coronavirus.
The Tigers canceled Thursday's farm team practice game against the SoftBank Hawks at Naruohama Stadium in Nishinomiya, and had their home park, Koshien Stadium and other facilities disinfected.
The Central League club has ordered all of its players and staff to self-quarantine, and has suspended all practice through April 1.
After checking the pitcher's activities over the previous two weeks, it was found that two other players he dined with have reported a diminished sense of taste.
On March 18, the 12 clubs agreed to announce when players or team staff underwent PCR testing for the coronavirus.


© KYODO
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