Legendary Indian sprinter Milkha Singh has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in isolation at his Chandigarh residence. The 91-year-old, popularly known as Flying Sikh, is asymptomatic and claims to be in "high spirits'". "A couple of our helpers earlier tested positive and so all the family members did the tests. Only I returned positive on Wednesday and I am surprised," Milkha told PTI.
"I am fine and there is no fever or cough. My doctor told me I will be alright in three-four days. I did jogging just yesterday. I am in high spirits," he added. None of the other family members, including Milkha's wife Nirmal Kaur, a former India volleyball captain, returned a positive test. "I have been telling people that doing physical exercise and remaining healthy is very important during this COVID times.
I am 91 but I have been doing exercise regularly," Milkha said. "I have been keeping indoors except for this morning jogging and exercise. Though I was surprised to test positive, I hope to get over it soon." Milkha's son and ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh is in Dubai and said he would be returning to the country this week itself. "I will be flying back home on Saturday," said Jeev. "I have also undergone COVID test here, which is mandatory for travel and the report will come on Friday," he added.
Nirmal Kaur said that Milkha was checked by PGIMER doctors and they have given requisite medicines. About her husband contracting the infection, she said, "a cook, who had been with the family for the last 50 years, reported high fever a few days ago." "He used to mostly stay here, but occasionally he used to go to his village Kishangarh here.
A few days ago he told our driver to check his temperature and he found him running a high fever. "he had concealed from us that he had been running a fever for the past few days. He was sent home and tested positive," she said. She said a couple of days before Milkha's COVID test was done, he had told her about feeling slight weakness. "This was the first time in my life that he had complained of weakness and body ache," she said.
The legendary athlete is a four-time Asian Games gold medallist and 1958 Commonwealth Games champion but his greatest performance was the fourth place finish in the 400m final of the 1960 Rome Olympics. His timing at the Italian capital remained the national record for 38 years till Paramjeet Singh broke it in 1998. He also represented India in the 1956 and 1964 Olympics and was bestowed the Padma Shri in 1959.