The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) are closely monitoring the developments at Leela Palace in Chennai which has become a new COVID-19 cluster in the city. The hotel is currently the base for three teams – Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram – ahead of the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, starting on January 10.
All the players, support staff along with match officials and scorers are in a bio-secure bubble at the bubble. But the situation in the hotel is worrying as it has become a COVID-19 hotspot with 20 employees of the hotel testing positive.
“A total of 326 samples were tested, of which 20 came out positive. All events have been suspended at the hotel for a week and disinfection work was carried out. All employees and other contacts have been quarantined. All the 20 are employees of the hotel including chefs, securitymen and laundry staff. The first case was detected on December 31,” a Chennai Corporation official was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.
At present, around 80 individuals associated with the Syed Mushtaq Ali meet, including 60 players, are undergoing quarantine in the hotel after arriving here on January 2. They have already completed one COVID-19 screening and all the results have come back negative. A second COVID test is currently underway, the results of which will be known on Tuesday.
Unsurprisingly, the teams were in panic after knowing that 20 hotel staff had tested positive for the virus. Later, the BCCI informed advised them not to panic as all the hotel staff serving the teams and match officials were kept under quarantine for a week before entering the bio-secure bubble. The staff serving the players underwent another round of tests and they all returned negative.
The news outlet further reported that none of the staff members serving the players have come in direct contact with those who tested positive as the BCCI’s medical team is monitoring the situation closely. Even those in the bio-secure bubble have not come in contact with anyone as movements are completely restricted on their respective hotel floors.
“Their floors are not open for the public. So far there hasn’t been any breach. Since the hotel staff have tested positive, we are just being extra cautious,” an official told the news outlet.
The BCCI is taking all possible measures to ensure that the tournament gets underway without any trouble. The tournament will kickstart high-profile cricket in the country. India have not hosted any international or domestic game since March due to COVID-19 outbreak.
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