More than 20,000 COVID-19 tests will be carried out during the course of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), the tournament’s medical partner confirmed on Thursday.
Everyone associated with IPL 2020 will have to strictly stay in their respective team’s bio-secure bubbles, and each person will be tested every fifth day.
A spokesperson from VPS Healthcare, IPL's Abu Dhabi-based official medical partner, told AFP on Wednesday:
“During the course of the tournament, we will be conducting over 20,000 tests. The movement of the players and other officials of the IPL are strictly restricted between the hotel and the stadium.”
VPS Healthcare also revealed that 3,500 tests have already been conducted so far.
Most of the 200 players from the eight IPL franchises landed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last month.
All players and match officials, including their families, had to undergo one COVID-19 test upon arrival before self-isolating for six days. They were further tested on Days 1, 3 and 5 before being allowed to join the bio-bubbles.
Apart from CSK, none of the IPL teams showed any symptoms
There were obstacles along the way as 13 members of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) camp tested positive for COVID-19. While all of them had to further quarantine themselves for 14 days, the rest of the squad also had to stay in their hotel rooms before finally resuming training.
CSK were dealt with another major blow when their star players Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh decided to opt out of IPL 2020 because of ‘personal reasons’.
Among other players, Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians) and Jason Roy (Delhi Capitals) have pulled out from the tournament while RCB pacer Kane Richardson withdrew to attend the birth of his first child.
All 60 IPL matches will be played behind closed doors – 24 games in Dubai, 20 in Abu Dhabi and 12 in Sharjah. The final match will be played on a weekday for the first time on November 10.Published 10 Sep 2020, 14:39 IST