Pakistan cricket squad was in for a shock of their lives after six members of its team tested positive for Covid-19 a day ago while on tour in New Zealand reports confirmed.
All six members of the Pakistan cricket team have been moved from managed isolation into quarantine and the team’s exemption from social-distancing rules for training has also been suspended after the positive tests were confirmed.
According to reports by BBC, all 53 members of the visiting squad are said to have been tested by the health officials on arrival into the country but how they contracted the virus is yet to be disclosed.
New Zealand is among the few countries in the world that have been widely praised for its pandemic response measures and have so far recorded a total of 2,040 cases and 25 deaths since the pandemic hit the world.
It implemented a stringent but brief lockdown at the start of the crisis, along with targeted testing and successful surveillance. The country reported its most recent case of transmission within its borders on 18 November. Meanwhile, Pakistan has recorded over 356,198 confirmed cases and 7,843 deaths since the outbreak.
New Zealand’s cricket authorities said two of the six cases were “historical” and the other four were new. Historical can refer to a positive test returned sometime after a person has recovered.
Some members of the Pakistan team had contravened protocols on their first day in managed isolation in Christchurch and would be reminded of their responsibilities, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said.
A health ministry spokeswoman told Stuff.co.nz that several members of the Pakistan team had been seen on CCTV breaking the rules and the team was now on its “final warning”. The rules had been broken despite “clear, consistent and detailed communication of expected behaviour”, the spokeswoman was quoted as saying.
All members of the Pakistan squad had earlier tested negative four times before leaving the Pakistani city of Lahore.
Pakistan cricket team members said to have broken isolation guidelines
The outcome was “disappointing for the Pakistan squad” but the “testing outcomes and the actions taken show the government system is working”, NZC said.
Wasim Khan, PCB CEO conveyed a message to the squad via a WhatsApp voice note addressing the team candidly, and telling them being sent back home would be “hugely embarrassing”, according to the news outlet CricketAddictor.com.
“Boys, I spoke to the New Zealand government and they told us there were three or four breaches of protocols,” Wasim Khan said.
“They have a zero-tolerance policy and they’ve given us a final warning. We understand that this is a difficult time for you, and you went through similar conditions in England.
“It’s not easy. But this is a matter of the nation’s respect and credibility. Observe these 14 days and then you’ll have the freedom to go to restaurants and roam about freely. They have told me in clear terms that if we commit one more breach, they’ll send us home,” he added.
Earlier this month the West Indies cricket squad – who are also in New Zealand – were also briefly banned from training and confined to their hotel rooms after CCTV showed them sharing meals and mingling together in breach of managed isolation guidelines.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have reportedly warned Pakistan they will be sent home if they breach the COVID-19 protocols one more time.
The Pakistan team is scheduled to play two Test matches and three T20 matches while in New Zealand.
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Author: Allan Bangirana
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