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Separate IPL check-in counters, daily checks, bio-bubble enforcer: How BCCI plans to beat rising Covid threat

The newest Indian Premier League (IPL) season kicks off on Friday, however the rising Covid-19 instances amongst gamers, franchise workers, broadcasters and several other others related to the event is giving BCCI a giant headache. Teams, help workers and plenty of different stakeholders are in bio-bubbles until the top of the event, and there will probably be no crowds on the video games, however the virus remains to be proving to be a troublesome opponent even earlier than a ball is bowled.

It has pressured the BCCI high brass to return to the drafting board for recent concepts to take care of the issue. The new measures embody requesting for separate IPL check-in counters at airports, daily Covid checks and the appointment of a bio-bubble integrity officer. After Mumbai Indians expertise scout and former India wicketkeeper Kiran More and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Australian recruit Daniel Sams examined optimistic, the variety of folks related to the IPL who’re confirmed to have been contaminated is now 36.

Tougher than final time

The BCCI managed to pull off a powerful logistical and organisational feat by holding an almost-incident-free IPL within the UAE in September-November final yr. But there have been solely three venues there and the comparatively shorter journey distances meant commuting may very well be accomplished on buses.

But the upcoming version has 5 venues – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Chennai – and the a lot higher distances make air journey crucial. Airports thus turn into a spot gamers and others related to the IPL could have to frequent, and the place they face the danger of publicity to the virus.

Mumbai and Delhi have witnessed a major spike in Covid-19 instances over latest days which has pressured an evening curfew (although the IPL has been exempted from the restriction) whereas the opposite three venues are additionally experiencing a recent wave of infections.

Special therapy, stricter measures

Hence, the Board goes to request the Indian authorities to enable separate IPL safety check-in counters on the airport, in order that groups can have a safe bio-bubble. More’s optimistic check has pressured BCCI to consider methods to make its bio-security equipment extra sturdy. The former stumper examined unfavorable earlier than boarding the flight to Chennai, however was discovered to be contaminated, however asymptomatic, 5 days after touchdown. A attainable clarification is that More may have been uncovered to the virus throughout journey, therefore the board’s request for separate IPL check-in counters as every crew will journey thrice after coming into the bio-bubble.

The Board may even now conduct checks on every crew daily to monitor any attainable infections higher. At the identical time, a bio-bubble integrity officer has to guarantee nobody leaves their room with out a masks. The integrity officer is not going to enable gamers to use the frequent areas of the motels till they’re masked. Players may even have to put on masks whereas leaving the bottom.

The stricter tips have been necessitated by the raft of Covid-positive instances amongst these related to the event in latest days. Ten groundsmen and a plumber at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, seven BCCI workers, three IPL gamers – Axar Patel (Delhi Capitals), Devdutt Padikkal and Daniel Sams (RCB) – in addition to an MI help workers (More), 14 members of the broadcasting crew which manages the world feed have examined optimistic. Apart from More, all had been detected earlier than they entered the bio-bubble. Now the groundsmen too have been put in a separate bio-bubble.

BCCI additionally claims to have a Bluetooth monitoring machine for every crew because the board has tied up with Gem3s Technology Private Limited this season, however 4 franchises confirmed to The Indian Express that they haven’t acquired any Bluetooth machine until date.

Taking no possibilities

As per the protocol, any participant/help workers who is available in direct contact with a Covid-19 contaminated particular person could have to endure seven days in isolation but when gamers have had minimal contact with the optimistic case, they are going to be allowed to prepare after two unfavorable checks.

That’s why Mumbai Indians had been allowed to resume coaching regardless of More’s optimistic check. The crew was saved below isolation on Tuesday and Wednesday, however after two Covid-19 checks, it was determined to enable gamers to resume coaching. As More’s interplay with MI batsmen and bowlers was minimal, the BCCI and franchise medical groups determined to enable gamers to prepare for the inaugural IPL match in opposition to Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday.

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