After Delhi Capitals' Axar Patel tested positive earlier this month, Mumbai Indians' wicketkeeping consultant Kiran More and Royal Challengers Bangalore's all-rounder Daniel Sams became the latest additions to the list.
Both More and Sams are currently asymptomatic and in isolation.
Since More was operating inside the bubble and had interacted with the members of the Mumbai contingent before testing positive, the defending champions cancelled their training session, underwent a rapid testing process and returned negative results.
As for Sams, who checked into the team hotel in Chennai on April 3 with a negative COVID report on arrival, was already serving his 7 days quarantine period.
As these new cases emerge, the question has to be asked- are the bio-bubbles at IPL 2021 safe?
The BCCI did a tremendous job during the recently-concluded India vs England series.
Their successful endeavour meant that the board was ready for hosting the IPL at home this season.
However, with cases now rising in the secure environment, the integrity of the bio-bubbles will be questioned. And the players will undoubtedly be a worried lot.
For the IPL in the UAE last year, BCCI had hired UK-based Restrata (a safety and technology firm) to create a central bio-bubble.
With more players and staff testing positive with each passing day, the board is now on its toes.
What happens when a player tests positive in the bio-bubble?
As per the standard operating procedures released by the BCCI, a whole lot of measures kick in the moment a player or staff in the bio-bubble returns a positive test.
- Suspected or positive cases should be immediately isolated from the rest of the contingent for 10 days. During this period, the individual must rest and avoid any exercises.
- After a positive RT-PCR test result, the Team Doctor is required to inform the BCCI Chief Medical Officer immediately. The local Health Authority should be immediately notified as well.
- All cases shall be dealt with as per the guidelines applicable to that particular area and will be managed with close coordination from accredited hospitals and treatment centres equipped with COVID-19 testing and treatment.
- All individuals who have been in close contact with the affected person during the previous 48 hours (starting from the time of collection of the positive sample) will be isolated and tested immediately. Even casual contacts have to follow the same process.
- The staff handling positive cases must mandatorily wear a full PPE kit.
- The team doctor should also regularly monitor the case so that if the symptoms worsen during isolation, the individual can be hospitalised immediately.
- On the last two days of the isolation period, the individual will undergo an RT-PCR test. If both the test results from Day 9 and Day 10 are negative and the person does not have any symptoms for more than 24 hours, he/she can re-enter the Bio-Secure Environment.
- If the positive individuals are players, they have to undergo a cardiac screening before resuming any team activities.
One can only hope that such measures will come in handy and prevent a COVID-19 outbreak across the teams during IPL 2021.
Inputs from BCCI and Cricbuzz