Axar Patel, the Delhi Capitals allrounder, has tested positive for Covid-19. Patel had checked into the team hotel in Mumbai on March 28 after arriving with a negative Covid-19 report, but has returned a positive test since.
He is "currently in isolation at a designated medical care facility". The franchise's medical team "is in constant touch with Axar and ensuring his safety and well-being". The Capitals are currently training at the Cricket Club of India premises (Brabourne Stadium), and the club has barred its members from accessing the areas being used by the franchise.
Patel was with the India team - Tests and T20Is against England - till recently, and made a remarkable start to his Test career in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja. He played three of the four Tests of the series, and picked up 27 wickets - joint-most with Dilip Doshi (against Australia in 1979) for most wickets by an Indian in his maiden Test series. He also played the first T20I of the five-match series, on March 12, the last time he was in action.
He is the second cricketer, after the Kolkata Knight Riders' Nitish Rana, to test positive since the teams started checking into their hotels in Mumbai and Chennai. There was positive news for Rana, however, with the Knight Riders putting out a video that showed him attending a team training session after an extended 12-day quarantine.
"I first got tested because it's compulsory for an entry into Mumbai, so I did it, and I got a negative result. Then I flew into Mumbai, and came straight to the hotel. The day I came, I did my usual workouts inside the room," Rana said in the video. "In Mumbai, after the first day (Day 2) of quarantine, I got tested again. I didn't have any symptoms. It wasn't like I was feeling any different for three days or so.
"Obviously wasn't expecting the tests to come positive. I had taken all sorts of precautions. But despite that, I contracted Covid. The protocols that I had to follow, the BCCI guidelines, or the things that my doctors had told me to do, I followed each and everything.
"On the 11 th day (of quarantine), I got tested yet again, and I got a negative report. And on the 12 th day, today [Friday] I got tested again, and I got a negative again."
The BCCI's "IPL 2021: Health and Safety Protocols" manual lays down the rules and regulations for dealing with Covid-19 cases in detail.
- Suspected/positive cases will be immediately isolated from rest of the squad.
- The team doctor will inform the BCCI chief medical officer immediately.
- The local health authority will be immediately notified of the positive RT-PCR test result.
- The case will be managed in close coordination with accredited hospitals and treatment centres equipped with Covid-19 testing and treatment equipment.
- All concerned cases shall be dealt with as per the guidelines set by the government applicable to that particular area.
- Contact tracing must commence immediately. All individuals who have been in close contact with the case during the previous 48 hours starting from the time of collection of the sample which resulted in a positive test, will be isolated and tested. All casual contacts in the last 48 hours starting from the time of collection of the sample which resulted in a positive test, will also be isolated and tested immediately.
- All staff handling positive cases must mandatorily wear a full PPE kit (goggles, face shield, N95 mask, gloves, coverall/gowns, head cover and shoe covers) while handling a suspected/positive Covid-19 case.
This aside, in case of asymptomatic people or ones with mild symptoms, the protocol is for the person to be isolated in a designated area outside the bio-secure environment for a minimum of ten days from the day on which the sample which resulted in the positive report was taken.
As such, the situation in Mumbai, as well as other parts of the country, is rather grim, with a fresh spike in Covid-19 cases, which the chief minister of Maharashtra (of which Mumbai is a part) Uddhav Thakeray has called a "second wave". Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad are the six host centres for 2021 IPL, which will start on April 9, with Hyderabad identified as a contingency option in case one or more of the six designated cities cannot host matches.