Dr. Caroline McEnlay, New Zealand director of public medical health, has claimed that Pakistan cricketers who returned positive for the Wuhan virus may have contacted the same before leaving their homeland or during their journey.
Pakistan Cricket Team arrived with a jumbo squad of more than 50 members in New Zealand on November 24, following which six of their players returned positive following the breach of bio-security protocols. The results had stated that while four positive results were new cases, two others were ‘historical’ in nature.
Pakistani contingent was issued a final warning following the breach of protocols and a ban was imposed on them training amid the 14-day isolation, which has also affected their preparation for the upcoming 3 T20I and two-Test series against the BlackCaps, starting December 18.
“This is possible – it does take a few days after exposure before the disease develops. Pre-departure testing does help in identifying people who have the current infection but it will not detect people who have very recently been exposed to the virus,” Caroline was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“They were required to take a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and be symptom-free before departing for New Zealand.” he added.
The Pakistan squad had reached New Zealand by taking the route from Lahore to Dubai before changing their aircraft. The plane stopped at Kuala Lumpur for re-fuelling though the squad remains on-board. After having landed in Auckland, they were taken to Christchurch via a chartered plane.
Dr. McEnlay has confirmed that after initial bio-security breaches by the Pakistan contingent, the players have fully complied with all the security norms thereafter. All but one member of the touring party were released from managed isolation after the squad returned negative for the virus.
“One case will remain in the Christchurch quarantine facility until fully recovered,” McEnlay said. One person repeatedly tested negative and is being released from the Auckland quarantine facility today, where they had been transferred on arrival as a precaution.
“After extensive testing and completion of their time in managed isolation in Christchurch, the Canterbury DHB medical officer of health is satisfied these people pose a very low risk to the community,” McEnlay said.