April 18, 2024
Latest news on the global pandemic

Pakistani cricketers on ‘final warning’ after six players breach isolation rules in New Zealand

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said it “was made aware today that six members of the Pakistan touring squad, currently in managed isolation in Christchurch, have tested positive for COVID-19.”

Four of the cases were new and two of the cases were “historical,” the news release added. NZC said all players had tested negative for the virus before departing from Lahore on four separate occasions.

“As a consequence, the Pakistan team’s exemption to train while in managed isolation has been put on hold until investigations have been completed,” NZC said.

New Zealand has been widely praised for its approach to handling the coronavirus and has reported just over 2,000 total cases and 25 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the John Hopkins University of Medicine.

‘Expected behaviors’

Pakistan’s official cricket website said the team departed for New Zealand on Monday.

After they landed, several of the Pakistani cricket players were caught on camera breaking isolation rules, New Zealand’s Ministry of Health said.

“Since their arrival, several team members have been seen on CCTV at the facility breaching managed isolation rules, despite clear, consistent and detailed communication of expected behaviors while in the facility,” a news release read. “The team as a whole has been issued with a final warning.”

According to health officials, 53 members of the the squad arrived in Christchurch on 24 November and were tested on day one.

“These cases are the results of those tests,” the health ministry said. It added that these new cases would be counted outside of its usual daily count because of “the high public interest in visiting sports teams.”

Those with positive tests are required to stay in quarantine rooms within the facility and no team members are allowed to leave the facility to train. There is no risk to the public as the isolation breaches occurred within the facility, the health department said.

In a statement Sunday, the Pakistani cricket team said one player had stayed behind from the trip after reporting a fever, but had previously tested negative for Covid-19.

The Pakistani team is expected to play three T20 matches and two Test matches while in New Zealand, with the first match scheduled to take place at Eden Park in Auckland on December 18.