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3 Hanshin Tigers players test positive for coronavirus

A day after Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shintaro Fujinami tested positive for the novel coronavirus, two teammates he was known to have dined with also were confirmed as infected, a source with knowledge of the matter said Friday.
On Thursday, Fujinami became the first professional baseball player in Japan to receive a positive test. After identifying those that he came into close contact with between March 11 and March 25, two players came forward saying they had symptoms.
Fujinami, a 25-year-old right-hander, had reported losing his sense of smell a few days earlier, although he exhibited no other symptoms such as coughing or fever.
Fujinami was examined at a hospital in Hyogo Prefecture on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a doctor recommended he undergo a test for the coronavirus.
The Tigers players are the only three Nippon Professional Baseball players to have so far tested positive for the coronavirus.
The league, which was due to start on March 20, has set April 24 as its Opening Day goal for the 2020 season.
"We do not plan to reconsider the date because of this," said NPB secretary general Atsushi Ihara. "We are still aiming for April 24."
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.
None of the three infected players is known to have come into close contact with players or staff from the Hawks.
The Central League club has ordered all of its players and staff to self-quarantine, and has suspended all practice through April 1.
On March 18, the 12 NPB clubs agreed to announce when players or team staff underwent testing for the coronavirus.


© KYODO
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