Six members of the Pakistan cricket team have tested positive for the novel coronavirus while in managed isolation in Christchurch. This has been announced by New Zealand Cricket on Thursday.
All six have been moved into quarantine and the team’s exemption to train while in isolation temporarily revoked, NZC added.
Pakistan is due to play three Twenty20 internationals and two tests from December 18, while a Pakistan ‘A’ tour will also be held concurrently.
The health ministry said all 53 members of the traveling party were tested on arrival on November 24. They also included players and staff. The positive results are from those tests.
NZC said in a statement all of the players in the squad had tested negative four times before leaving Lahore. Two of the six results were ‘historical’ infections while four were new.
Pakistan squad may have breached strict biosecurity protocols
NZC said they had been made aware members of the Pakistan squad may have breached strict biosecurity protocols on the first day of their 14-day mandatory isolation.
As part of measures to prevent COVID-19 from being brought into the country, the team was not allowed to socialize. It was not even allowed to eat or train together outside their small ‘bubbles’ while in isolation.
The touring West Indies side also fell foul of the regulations earlier this month and had their training exemption revoked.
“We will be having discussions with the tourists to assist them in understanding the requirements,” NZC said.
“While this is disappointing for the Pakistan squad, the testing outcomes and the actions taken show the government system is working.
“NZC considers public health and safety to be paramount in the hosting of international teams, and is supportive of the Ministry of Health and government position.”
Pakistan cricket team also received a “final warning” for flouting quarantine rules. New Zealand health authorities revoked the players’ ability to train while in isolation at their Christchurch hotel, making clear they would not tolerate risky behaviour in a country that has largely eradicated the virus.
Is this the end of the tour? Well, Pakistani fans will be very disappointed if so.
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