CSA perplexed over positive Proteas case after bio-bubble investigation

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Dr Shuaib Manjra
Dr Shuaib Manjra
Cricket South Africa
    • CSA Chief Medical Officer Dr Shuaib Manjra confirmed that an investigation took place after a Proteas player tested positive ahead of the three-match ODI series against England.
    • Friday's opening ODI at Newlands was subsequently postponed and CSA was unsure how the positive test came about.
    • Manjra insisted that it is "impossible" for any player to breach the bio-secure environment with heavy security created to secure the bubble.

    Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra revealed his concern after the first ODI against England was postponed because a Proteas player tested positive for Covid-19.

    The opening ODI between Proteas and England was postponed an hour before Friday's game at Newlands was scheduled to take place.

    This is the third time a Proteas player has tested positive for the coronavirus since the 24-man squad was announced ahead of the England tour.

    One player had tested positive before the Proteas entered their bio-bubble in Cape Town while a second had tested positive inside the bio-bubble and was immediately isolated from the team.

    Manjra admitted that CSA was "surprised" by the positive test and stated that an investigation took place, which proved to be a dead-end.

    "This (positive) test surprised us, we had confidence in the integrity of the bio-secure environment," said Manjra.

    "This is the more recent case that occurred within the bio-safe environment so there is some kind of breach, which we investigated in detail to try and determine where this happened.

    "We have traversed a couple of different spaces. We've tried to recount the past few days events, speaking to the player, looking at the security cameras and we haven't been able to identify where the source came from."

    EXPLAINER | Everything you need to know about Proteas' return to action in a time of Covid-19

    England became the first international team to tour South Africa since the coronavirus pandemic. It was also the Proteas' first experience of being in a bio-secure bubble.

    Manjra insisted that the bio-secure bubble has worked despite the second positive test in the bubble.

    "I'm convinced that 99 percent of the time this environment is working, a breach that is unknown to us has caused a positive test," he said.

    "There are a lot of moving parts in a tour like this and we're trying to control that."

    CSA confirmed that another Covid-19 test will be conducted on Friday evening (18:30) with the first ODI now scheduled for Paarl on Sunday.

    There will also be another coronavirus test planned on Tuesday ahead of the final ODI match on Wednesday.

    Manjra dismissed any rumours that suggested that a player had left their hotel without authorisation, stating that the tour is under strict security until 10 December.

    "I can categorically state that no player would be able to leave the hotel environment," the doctor said.

    "The security around will not allow a player to leave unless that player is leaving in an assigned/official vehicle. There's a command centre led by a colonel from the Claremont police force and they strictly enforce the bio-bubble. They will not allow anyone to leave.

    "It's impossible to leave this bio-secure environment by any player or official."

    The Proteas amended tour dates:

    Sunday, 6 December - 1st ODI, Boland Park, Paarl (Day Match)

    Monday, 7 December - 2nd ODI, Newlands, Cape Town (Day-night Match)

    Wednesday, 9 December 2020 - 3rd ODI, Newlands, Cape Town (Day-night Match)

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