Covid scare for Team India: Rishabh Pant among two positive

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Two members of the Indian cricket workforce touring England – wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and coaching assistant Dayanand Garani — have examined positive for the Covid-19 virus.

While Pant has been below quarantine for over every week at a relative’s home, Garani has been remoted at a London resort the place the complete squad had checked in earlier this week.

Three others – wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, opener Abhimanyu Easwaran and bowling coach B Arun — have been recognized as shut contacts of Garani. They have been requested to restrict themselves to their rooms for 10 days as a precaution.

The Indian workforce, minus Pant and the 4 others in isolation, has moved from London to Durham the place they are going to play a observe sport earlier than the primary Test in opposition to England on August 4.

The BCCI, in a press assertion, mentioned Pant was “asymptomatic” and “will be able to join the squad in Durham after returning two negative RT-PCR tests”.

Speaking to The Indian Express, BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla, with out naming Pant, mentioned, “One player has tested positive but he has been in isolation for the last eight days. He was not staying in any hotel with the team. He did not meet any player, so no other player has been affected.”

“As players were allowed to go out and take a break, many stayed with relatives there. So far, no other player has tested positive and our secretary, Jay Shah, has written to all players to maintain protocols,” he mentioned.

Incidentally, Shah’s communication, dated July 13, reached the gamers 5 days after Pant examined positive and a day earlier than they had been to reassemble in London for the journey to Durham. The BCCI mentioned the wicketkeeper had examined positive on July 8.

Last month, after the World Test Championship ultimate in opposition to New Zealand, the BCCI allowed squad members to go away the bio-bubble with liberty to chalk out their very own lodging and journey plans. With social-distancing protocols relaxed in England, the gamers and training employees, throughout the three-week break, had been seen in crowded stands on the Euro 2020 video games and the Wimbledon tennis championship.

Pant and Jasprit Bumrah had posted images on social media from soccer video games whereas coach Ravi Shastri tweeted a selfie from the sidelines of Novak Djokovic’s history-making Grand Slam ultimate on the grass-court match.

Shah’s recommendation to gamers to steer clear of “mass congregations” got here a few days after the Euro 2020 and Wimbledon ultimate on July 11. “In fact, the new variant is spreading rapidly, and we are not out of the danger zone … In view of this, it is advisable that places of mass congregation, crowded shopping malls/stores and watering holes be avoided by you in the best interest of everyone,” he mentioned.

“I am sure everyone understands the gravity of the situation. Please follow the Covid-19 protocols and stay within the team environment, which is a more controlled one,” he mentioned.

The letter underlined the challenges the England Cricket Board (ECB) has confronted in organising the tour throughout the pandemic. “I am pleased that BCCI’s excellent working relationship with the ECB has enabled us to administer a second dose of the vaccine to each one of you and also to your family members and caretakers. While this surely boosts our fighting capacity against the virus, it by no means guarantees total immunity or resistance against the dreaded virus.”

Shah additionally reminded gamers and assist employees of the perils of dropping the guard. “You may be aware that the ECB was forced to field another team to play against Pakistan and even the white-ball series between India and Sri Lanka had to be postponed,” he mentioned.

Shukla said that one wants to know that Indian gamers have been in bio-bubbles for months earlier than they travelled to England.

“Players have been staying in a bio-bubble for the past few months now. The situation in the UK is different, the government has opened and relaxed norms. So it was decided to allow our players to take a much-needed break and join the team again later. Jay was in constant touch with the team management and was checking what was happening in England,” he mentioned.

The whole travelling contingent is taking the lateral circulate check every day, the BCCI press launch mentioned.

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