Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021: Players safe as 20 staff members of Chennai hotel test positive for COVID-19

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021: Players safe as 20 staff members of Chennai hotel test positive for COVID-19

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is set to commence on January 10.

Chepauk Stadium
Chepauk Stadium. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Few days ahead of the start of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament, nearly 20 staff members of a hotel in Chennai have tested positive for COVID-19. It is the same hotel where as many as three teams – Manipur, Meghalaya, and Mizoram – are stationed. Fortunately, none of the players or the support staff have tested positive for the virus.

The teams are staying at the Leela Palace which has become a new COVID-19 cluster in the city. Before Leela Palace, a similar outbreak had taken place at the ITC Grand Chola too. A Chennai Corporation official confirmed that 20 staff members of the hotel tested positive for COVID-19 with the first case detected on December 31.

“A total of 326 samples were tested, of which 20 came out positive. All events have been suspended at the hotel for a week and disinfection work was carried out. All employees and other contacts have been quarantined. All the 20 are employees of the hotel including chefs, security men and laundry staff. The first case was detected on December 31,” the corporation official was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.

The teams, on the other hand, arrived at the hotel on January 2. Around 80 individuals associated with the Syed Mushtaq Ali meet, including 60 players, are undergoing quarantine in the hotel. The players and others have already completed one COVID-19 screening and all the results have come negative. A second COVID test is currently underway, the results of which will be known on Tuesday, according to the news outlet.

Teams are safe, says the official

While the latest outbreak is definitely a reason to worry, the players and other individuals who will be in action during the tournament are staying in bio-secure bubbles and are said to be safe. A Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) official has informed that there is nothing to worry about as the players have been placed in a bio-secure environment. He insisted that everything is under control for the time being.

“The three teams are safe and there is nothing to worry about. The testing has been carried out on the staff and it isn’t necessary that they have even come near the players because as you saw during the IPL as well, the board is very strict with bubbles, and the staff serving the players had already been tested before the teams arrived and have stayed separately.

Even then, if something does come up later, we will act promptly. For now, everything is under control,” the official said. The teams are in Chennai for the Plate group matches while Bangalore, Kolkata, Vadodara, Indore, and Mumbai are the venues for the Elite group games. The tournament will get underway on January 10 and mark the resumption of domestic cricket amid the pandemic. The Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad will host the quarter-finals (Jan 26-27), semi-finals (Jan 29), and the final (Jan 31).