Sources confirmed on Friday that an Indian cricketer is amongst those, at least ten, tested positive for COVID19 from the Chennai Super Kings camp. Meanwhile, the others positive include the support staff and the net bowlers. One also understands that the wife of a CSK official is also amongst those affected while her husband, the official himself is tested negative. Though details on the exact number of those affected and the source are still unknown, the infected have been shifted to a different hotel. They are also being monitored by medical personnel behind closed doors.
The CSK team landed in Dubai on Friday and were about to complete their 7-day quarantine to finally resume practice. However, now with the COVID19 cloud looming over, the players are being sent to an extra 4-day quarantine routine till September 1. According to the IPL’s Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs), all those who tested positive will now need to undergo at least two weeks of further quarantine and clear two more tests before they can rejoin the group.
The increasing cases in Abu Dhabi have already delayed the announcement of the scheduled venues and fixtures. This recent case guarantees it to be delayed even further. Neither the franchise nor the IPL Governing Council though, has issued any statement explaining the incident.
What Happens Now?
Now with contingent members positive, there will be ‘contact tracing should commence immediately’. It will be important to check the health and recovery of those infected as well as others. The incidence also alerts other contingents in Dubai to stay safe and away from social contact and consequently the virus.
If the person is “asymptomatic or has mild symptoms”, then he/she would need to be isolated outside the biosecure bubble for two weeks from the “first day of symptoms or a positive PCR test report whichever is later”. The individual can only train after 14-day strict isolation and will be hospitalised if health worsens further.
“After the 2 weeks isolation, the individual must return 2 negative PCR test reports done 24 hours apart. Only then he will be permitted to re-enter the BioSecure Environment. After recovery, players must undergo a cardiac screening before resuming any team activities.” says IPL’s SOP given to the franchise.
CSK: Pre-travel camp at Chennai
The likes of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, K Jadhav, Shardul Thakur, coach L Balaji and others were a part of the training camp at Chennai before their departure to Dubai. The CSK CEO Kasi Vishwanathan revealed that it was Dhoni who pushed the decision to continue camp despite management’s hesitation.
“When we announced that the tournament [IPL] is going to happen, I had reservations about conducting the camp here because of the bio-bubble which we will have to observe,” Viswanathan said in a Super Kings video published on YouTube on August 26. “In fact, I even sent a message to him whether it will be worthwhile having a camp of five days. (before we leave for Dubai). But captain [Dhoni] was crystal clear in his thoughts.” Dhoni reasoned his thoughts that the camp will also serve as a mock-drill to living in a bio-secured environment.
Whether it was this cricket camp, the international travel or the stay at Dubai is still unknown. But whatever happens, cricketing fraternity prays that the spread is limited to only a few people. With the scheduled start of IPL less than 20days away, the fans remain in eager anticipation for the cricketing extravaganza.