The Georgia Rugby Union says its national team coach has serious lung damage from Covid-19 and has been put on a ventilator in hospital in South Africa.
Levan Maisashvili was one of six members of the Georgian touring party to test positive for the virus after playing against South Africa on July 2 in Pretoria as part of a series organised to help the world champion Springboks prepare for the British and Irish Lions tour.
The five others to test positive were all players. They were recovering, the Georgia Rugby Union said, and were due to leave South Africa on Sunday.
Maisashvili had not been vaccinated against Covid-19, Georgia team spokeswoman Tatia Beriashvili wrote in an email to The Associated Press, despite members of both the South Africa and the British and Irish Lions squads and their backroom staffs receiving vaccinations ahead of their series. Beriashvili confirmed Maisashvili was on a ventilator.
“Everything is being done to improve Levan Maisashvilis condition,” the Georgia Rugby Union said.
“He has been moved to one of South Africa’s top-level clinics, which is equipped with the most up-to-date medical equipment to manage COVID patients.”
“Although it’s not clear when and where Maisashvili was infected, Georgia announced it had six cases in its squad days after playing South Africa, which had already reported cases in its squad ahead of the game. The outbreak eventually caused the cancellation of a planned second Test between the teams.”
South Africa’s squad has had more than a dozen players and backroom staff test positive for the virus since they started preparing late last month. The British and Irish Lions have also had positive virus tests in their group.
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