New Zealand’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield in a press conference said that more members of Pakistan’s squad might return COVID-19 positive in the coming day or so.
On Thursday, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed the news of six Pakistani players being covid positive. The affected players have been sent to the isolation facility in Christchurch.
The entire squad was tested for Covid-19 when they arrived in the country and that is where the six positive tests were uncovered, Bloomfield said.
“All six of the positive tests were players, not the other members of their squad. It’s possible they could have infected other team members, but the key point is that everyone in the squad is treated as if they may have covid. At least four of those are acute infections and the others may be historical ones, but that’s being confirmed,” Bloomfield said.
“At least four of those are acute infections and the others may be historical ones, but that’s being confirmed.”
He said the day three testing for the squad was done yesterday and the results will be available today.
“The fact that these infections were found when they were tested on arrival in the country suggests that there may well be others that we uncover during that day three testing.”
The CCTV footage clearly showed that players were not abiding by the rules and regulations given to them, Bloomfiled said.
“Rather than being in their own rooms which is the requirement for the first three days until that first test comes back, there was some mingling in the hallways, chatting, sharing food and not wearing masks which were obvious on the CCTV footage.”
Bloomfield also said he doesn’t know how many times these violations were done but it only takes once to spread this disease.
Now they have to stay in their rooms, which was the requirement anyway since the training exemption would only have applied if health officials were happy after the day three testing, he said.
But there is no evidence that any interaction was made by these players outside.
“This was simply members of the squad mingling in the hallways outside their rooms which was not something that was allowed to happen and not something that’s at all acceptable.”
He said pre-testing people before they get on the plane identifies anyone with Covid-19 at that point, who would then not be allowed to travel.
“But what it doesn’t do is rule out that people may still get infected after the last test but before they board the plane, nor that they may well have the infection incubating.”
Pakistani players and team officials have been given a final warning by the New Zealand health authority and another COVID-19 SOP’s violation could see them sent back home.