What if a player tests positive in the middle of the IPL?
It is understood that under no situation a positive test will lead to the cancellation of the league.
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Rejoice! The IPL is back! With the government of India giving its assent to the BCCI to move ahead with conducting the IPL in the UAE, all the hurdles have been successfully eliminated. The cash-rich league is set to commence from September 19 with the final scheduled on November 10.
The 13th edition of the tournament is going to mark the resumption of Indian cricket that has stayed on a halt ever since March 2020 due to the on-going COVID saga. The BCCI has left no stone unturned to ensure that the league is conducted smoothly and has therefore issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), a draft of which has reportedly been shared with every franchise last Monday.
The detailed document adequately provides for a range of guidelines related to social distancing, traveling directives, testing protocols, match-day guidelines, and other regulations keeping in mind the prevalent situations. The authorities seem to be circumspect and vigilant about the possibilities of players, support staff, physios, etc. to contract with the COVID-19 and have therefore categorically enlisted the standard procedure of dealing with such a hiccup in the midst of the tournament.
Even though the BCCI has been proactively making all sorts of arrangements in tandem with the UAE government and authorities to form a bio-secure environment, the chance of people falling ill cannot be denied altogether. It is understood that under no situation a positive test will lead to the cancellation of the tournament.
Mentioned underneath are the SOPs in case of someone testing positive during the IPL
- Considering that the aerosol (or respiratory droplets) can easily be transmitted, any person who tests positive would need to mandatorily isolate outside the bio-secure bubble.
- A guideline has been issued to ensure a few rooms where the squad is staying to isolate any infected person.
- In a bid to ensure the safety of others, contact-tracing will be initiated as soon as a case comes to the fore.
- The IPL Medical manager upon receiving any information from the team doctor will immediately take charge and the person will be treated in coordination with hospitals and treatment centers equipped with COVID-19 testing.
- For cases where the person in question is asymptomatic/mildly symptomatic, an isolation period of two weeks and rest is advised.
- Once the isolation period of two weeks lapses, the individual must test negative twice in COVID PCR reports, to be conducted 24 hours apart, before being allowed to enter the bio-security bubble.
- Every player needs to undergo a cardiac screening before the resumption of routine training.
Traveling begins on 20 August
As per the SOP, the franchises are not permitted to leave for the UAE before August 20 and they have been advised to fly by chartered planes, to the maximum extent possible. As per reports, the BCCI is eyeing to make training facilities available for pre-tournament camps commencing from August 27.
All the overseas players have been directed to join their respective franchises directly in the UAE. Such players need to arrive along with two negative COVID test results, both conducted in the week preceding their arrival in the UAE.
All the people including the supports staff will be tested on landing at the UAE airport before heading to their hotels and will have to be subsequently tested thrice in a period of 6 days. In this entire duration, they will need to quarantine in their hotel rooms and enter the bio-secure environment not before all three test results come negative.
Additionally, all the squad members and players will be tested on the 5th day of every week throughout the tournament and a team doctor will be responsible for ensuring that the bio-secure guidelines are met and the bubble is not breached. The Bio-secure environment will include only the essential staff and no outsider or member of the public will be allowed.
Once entered in the bio-bubble, the players and support staff will not be permitted to leave the environment throughout the duration of IPL 2020.