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CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — The Georgia national rugby coach was in serious condition in the hospital in South Africa on Saturday after contracting COVID-19 during a series organized to help the world champion Springboks prepare for the British and Irish Lions tour.
Levan Maisashvili has “serious lung damage and is on artificial respiration,” the Georgia
Rugby Union said in a statement, after he was one of six members of the Georgian touring party to test positive for the virus after playing against South Africa in a game in Pretoria on July 2. The five others to test positive were all players.
Maisashvili had not been vaccinated, 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.
“Everything is being done to improve Levan Maisashvili’s 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.”