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January 14, 2021

Extensive Covid-19 testing awaits South Africa team

Sports

January 14, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The visiting South African team that is due to arrive in Karachi on January 16 will undergo nine Covid-19 tests during their one-month stay in Pakistan.

‘The News’ has learned that besides three tests to be conducted upon team’s arrival and during six-day quarantine period, testing would also be conducted before and after each Test, in between the series and then again before and after the three-match T20 series.

Team’s first test will be conducted on January 16, second on January 19 and another on January 22. However, both the teams will again undergo test on January 25 and then again at the end of the first Test.

Covid-19 testing, however, will continue till the end of T20 series.

Pakistan players will also undergo seven tests including five during their stay in ‘bio-secure bubble’.

“The extensive testing is being done to ensure safety and security of the players as well as those who are associated with teams in any way. All the individuals connected with the home series in any capacity will have to stay in the bubble and follow all the precautionary measures,” a PCB official, when contacted, said.

The host team will also undergo testing procedure twice before joining the bubble.

South Africa has been one of the worst-hit countries by Covid-19 with second wave of ‘vibrant virus’ much rampant in major cities.

“That is why we have decided to increase the quantity of testing during visitors’ stay here. Special arrangements have been finalised by the PCB’s medical department in this regard,” the official added.

Meanwhile, probables for the national team to be announced on Friday will be asked to assemble in Karachi on January 19 where they will undergo training ahead of the start of the first Test.

“Since the team gone through a tough period in New Zealand so it has been decided to hold one-week training camp for the players ahead of the Test series,” the official said.

To a question about captain Babar Azam, the official said that he has been declared fit for the series.

“I think the team’s management in New Zealand did a great job by not exposing the injured player prematurely, if otherwise Babar’s inclusion in the second Test against New Zealand could have proved a risky affair,” he said.