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4 men who came to participate in ONE Championship MMA event test positive for COVID-19

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SINGAPORE: Four men who recently arrived in Singapore to participate in a ONE Championship mixed martial arts event in Singapore, have tested positive for COVID-19.

Responding on Thursday (Apr 8) to CNA's queries sent on Tuesday, ONE Championship confirmed that the men had arrived from Brazil, Canada and Serbia for its Thursday's event titled: ONE on TNT I.

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"One foreign participant who was on the same flight as one of these individuals also tested positive for COVID-19," said ONE, adding that he was isolated upon arrival in Singapore.

ONE did not specify where the fourth person travelled from.

The three men who arrived from Brazil, Canada and Serbia, were reported as COVID-19 cases on Monday. They are known as Cases 61571, 61577 and 61578 respectively in the Ministry of Health's (MOH) daily updates on the outbreak situation.

MOH had said that the three men, aged between 23 and 33, arrived on short-term visit passes "to participate in a sporting event".

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On Wednesday, MOH said that another man who arrived from Canada, and tested positive for COVID-19, is a contact of Case 61577, the previously reported case from Canada.

Known as Case 61624, the ministry said the 35-year-old also entered Singapore for a sporting event.

ONE Championship declined to name all the participants who tested positive.

ONE MAN DISCHARGED, ALLOWED TO JOIN EVENT

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All four participants tested negative for COVID-19 before flying into Singapore, said ONE Championship on Thursday.

"As part of the stringent protocols for foreign participants, they were placed in isolation upon arrival," it added.

The four men were taken to a hospital for treatment after testing positive and serological tests were conducted to determine if their infections were current.

One of the men has been discharged from hospital as his serological test result came back positive, indicating a likely past infection, said ONE Championship.

"As an added precaution, he had undergone a (polymerase chain reaction) test on Apr 6 and tested negative for COVID-19. As such, he will be allowed to participate in the event."

No further information was given for the three other foreign participants.

The mixed martial arts event, ONE on TNT I, was held on Thursday and is a "closed-door production" without any spectators, said ONE Championship.

"In line with ONE's protocols and the Singapore Government's regulations, all foreign and local-based athletes and cornermen must be isolated until they receive a negative test result, after which they will follow a strictly controlled itinerary that has been pre-approved.

"Public health and safety remain our top priority. We will continue to work with the Singapore Government to ensure the safety of our athletes, crew and community," said ONE Championship.

READ: One Championship vows strict COVID-19 measures for Singapore MMA


With the latest cases, a total of seven COVID-19 cases have since been reported among ONE Championship event participants since the company restarted international events in October last year.

Last October, two cornermen tested positive as part of screening protocols ahead of a live sporting event.

Both men had tested negative before flying into Singapore from the US and Russia, and tested negative on arrival as well.

Last November, another cornerman tested positive upon arrival from Belarus.

According to its website, ONE Championship is Asia's biggest mixed martial arts promoter with offices in 10 cities, including Singapore.

Its institutional investors include Sequoia Capital, Temasek Holdings, Iconiq Capital, Greenoaks Capital and Mission Holdings.

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