August 13, 2022

India tour to South Africa 2021-22: CSA medical officer talks about Omicron and preparations

Cricket South Africa (CSA) is hoping for an Omicron-free streak against India which begins with the first test at Centurion on December 26.

The deadly variant of COVID-19 emerged in South Africa in November, forcing the Cricket Control Council in India to cancel the T20 portion of the tour and postpone testing for nine days.

The delay is a blessing in disguise as the number of cases has fallen to 15,000 from 27,000 last week. ASC Chief Medical Officer Dr Shuaib Manjra trusts the BioSecure Environment (BSE) to protect players and the series. “The Omicron peak in South Africa is going down. The curve is on a downtrend. It sounds positive, but it’s a highly transmissible variant, and we have to get hooked on BSE. Above all, we want to protect the players. and the tour, “he said in conversation with Sports star Wednesday.

READ: The five best IND vs SA tests in South Africa

Dr Manjra is aware of community transmission in the provinces. He is prepared to face the consequences in an emergency. “The virus has spread in the community. The level of community transmission was huge, but since we’ve created a bubble, hopefully we can keep that level of transmission out of here. If we get a positive case. , we will deal with it as it arises. We hope we can keep it completely negative, “he added.

Secure environment

Team India checked into the quaint Irene Country Lodge in Centurion. And they have the whole hotel to themselves.

The property was under foreclosure in anticipation of the tour. The staff had to show up a week earlier. “The staff are already living in-house. They moved seven days before the Indian team arrived and had to undergo intense testing. So from the hotel, the stadium, the transport service – the bus from the team and the charter flight – was part of the ESB.

“The hotel was previously used for the Pakistan and Sri Lanka playoffs. And during this time the two teams have stayed together, but this time the Proteas are living in a different hotel,” said Dr Manjra.

All players and support staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and tests daily at all venues.

Although the borders are closed, the South African government has guaranteed players safe passage if necessary.

Nortje for ODI

Anrich Nortje, who is absent from the Test Series due to a persistent hip injury, is expected to be back for ODI from January. The right-arm playmaker was the Proteas’ top pitcher in testing in 2021 with 25 wickets in five tests at 20.76. “All the players except Nortje are in good shape. Hopefully we can get him back for the ODI series,” he said.

The temporary disappearance of Nortje could give an opportunity to Duanne Olivier, who will return from the Kolpak system.