November 24, 2022

India tour in South Africa: positive case will be isolated, matches will continue

The Cricket India Control Board (BCCI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) have reached an agreement that the next Test and ODI rounds between the two teams will continue even though there is an isolated case of COVID-19 among the players or support. Staff. It was also agreed between the two councils that close contacts will not be forced into solitary confinement, CSA chief medical officer Shuaib Manjra told NDTV in an interview on Wednesday. India are set to play three tests against the Proteas – in Centurion (December 26-30), Johannesburg (January 3-7) and Cape Town (January 11-15). The two teams will then play three ODIs – on January 19, 21 and 23.

Here are excerpts from Manjra’s interview with NDTV:

With the increase in the number of COVID cases after the emergence of the Omicron variant, what challenges do you face before the India series?

We have passed the great challenges in South Africa. Most scientists predicted that South Africa had passed the peak of the fourth wave. The number of cases is drastically decreasing. In particular, the area where the first two tests are to be played, we have passed the peak. We have had a large number of cases and what the Omicron variant did is peak was reached in 3-4 weeks, half the time that the other variants peaked. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of cases but in a much shorter time and now we are on a downward trajectory so we believe we are past the worst time of the pandemic. I mean, we took all of our precautions. For example: we have the Indian team in a completely isolated bio bubble, the staff were tested 2 weeks before the arrival of the Indian team, they were isolated on the hotel before a week of the arrival of the Indian team. We tested them regularly and also at the stadium, we had a biosecure environment. We have completely isolated the Indian team, even the staff of the hotel where they would be staying. We have therefore created a strong and bio-safe environment.

What’s the plan in case a player tests positive?

There are two scenarios. First, if your test is positive before entering the bubble, in which case we will keep people out until they are negative or are in the 10-14 quarantine period. days.
Second, if they test positive after entering the bio-safe environment, we will isolate them in the hotel if they are clinically stable. If they are clinically unstable, then they would be transferred to a safe hospital, but we would isolate them in a room, provide meals and whatever was in the room itself. The other players should continue the activities and we would monitor and test them every day for 7 days.

So what to do with close contact or casual contact? Do they stay in the bubble? And does that mean the positive player comes out of the bubble?

No, the hotel in which the Indian team is currently staying is entirely dedicated to them and the person would be isolated in their room. When they settle in Cape Town, part of the hotel is dedicated to the India team. We could move them to the space outside of the ESB (secure bio environment) which is part of the same hotel. We had a long discussion with the Indian medical team about close contacts. and it was actually their recommendation that trying to create close contact from casual contact is a wild ride; sometimes it’s impossible to do, and it depends on how you define it in the player’s memory. So we decided, as everyone is fully vaccinated, to test each limb for 7 days in such a scenario. Interestingly, the Ministerial Advisory Committee advised the government, although it had not yet been considered, it advised to remove contact tracing.

Are there enough medical personnel in the bubble atmosphere?

Both teams have a doctor here, a physiotherapist. So yes, there are enough medical staff. As I said, if they are clinically unstable and need additional care, then they would be transferred to a hospital. But if they are stable, they should be treated by their team doctor.

What if there is another emergency the player needs to be taken out of the bubble for?

If three is a player who needs to be put out, it depends on what he is for. If he must be admitted to an establishment, this individual must then be back at the BSE within 5 days. But if it’s just for an appointment or an MRI, we’ve created green zones within hospitals. Players would move and operate in these green areas. They would enter and exit the BSE with full PPE.

What if the borders were closed in an emergency, what would happen to Team India then?

I can tell you that the possibility of border closures is as close as possible to zero percent. Our government does not intend to close the borders. In fact, we have no intention of lockdowns right now, we’re still at level 1 (restrictions). However, in the event of a closure, the Indian team came on a chartered plane and we would arrange for them to leave without a problem.


We know that CSA organized a successful tour in Sri Lanka inside a bubble but for this tour, it was necessary to sacrifice a few matches as well as spectators. Dean Elgar mentioned it was disappointing, but security first for CSA?

Absolutely yes. In a sense we have no choice (with). It was announced by the government in terms of the disaster management law that it would not allow more than 2,000 spectators in the stadium. We could have applied to the government, but with the current fourth wave, it is highly unlikely that the government would have approved it. But also from a safety and health point of view, we thought it would not be wise to have spectators on the pitch at this stage. Because we know the Omicron variant is highly transmissible and it’s a high risk, so it’s clear that we don’t want to become a super-spreading event. It’s disappointing that we don’t have crowds but the 2000 count still remains and we can use it at our discretion either for hospitality or for suites.

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