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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

New Zealand series in jeopardy as six test positive for COVID-19

Six Pakistani cricket team members have tested positive for coronavirus and have been given a 'final warning' by the New Zealand health ministry

The Pakistani cricket team was issued a ‘final warning’ by the New Zealand government after six cricketers tested positive for COVID-19. The upcoming T-20 and Test series have been put into jeopardy after the six members were moved into quarantine and the team’s exemption from training while in isolation was temporarily revoked.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health announced that the Pakistani team, all 53 members of the traveling party, was tested for the virus, and 6 members of the team tested positive. All players, however, had tested negative four times before leaving for New Zealand.

Cricketers had tested negative before

Two of the six results were ‘historic’ infections, while four were new infections. The New Zealand cricket team has also been informed that the Pakistani squad members may have breached strict biosecurity protocols on the first day of their 14-day mandatory isolation.

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As part of measures to prevent Covid-19 from being brought into the country, the team could not socialize, eat, or train together outside their small bubbles while in isolation.

The health ministry said: “The team as a whole has been issued with a final warning.”

“It is a privilege to come to New Zealand to play sport, but in return, teams must stick to the rules that are designed to keep Covid-19 out of our communities and keep our staff safe,” said Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield.

‘New Zealand testing system working’

“We will be having discussions with the tourists to assist them in understanding the requirements,” NZC said. “While this is disappointing for the Pakistan squad, the testing outcomes and the actions taken show the government system is working.

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“NZC considers public health and safety to be paramount in the hosting of international teams, and is supportive of the Ministry of Health and government position.”

The touring West Indies side also fell afoul of the regulations earlier this month and had their training exemption revoked.

GVS News Desk