Seven more Pakistan players test positive for COVID-19 but England tour 'on track'

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday confirmed that seven more players have tested positive for COVID-19, taking the total tally to 10.

File picture of Mohammad Hafeez.   -  AP Photo

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday confirmed that seven more players have tested positive for COVID-19, taking the total tally to 10. Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan and Wahab Riaz are the players to have tested positive. Support staff Malang Ali has also been confirmed to have contracted the virus.

None of the seven players and masseur had reported any prior symptoms of Covid-19 until they underwent first round of testing on Monday ahead of the side’s departure for Manchester. 

On Monday, Imad Wasim and Usman Shinwari had tested negative, while the results of Haider Ali, Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan were positive.

READ: England tour during pandemic is a big risk, says PCB doctor

The PCB medical panel is already in contact with these players and the masseur, who have been instructed to observe strict quarantine at their homes for their and their families’ well being.

The players and player support personnel, who have tested negative, will assemble in a bio-secure environment in Lahore on June 24 and will undergo second round of testing on June 25.

The players and player support personnel, who will test negative on June 25, will depart for Manchester on a chartered flight. Hours after arriving in the UK, they will be tested by the ECB medical panel. The players and player support personnel, who will test negative upon arrival in the UK, will observe a quarantine period as per the UK government’s regulations, but will be allowed to train and practice in a bio-secure facility,” the PCB said in a statement.

According to series SOPs, the Pakistan team will undergo, at least, five tests in the lead up to the first Test.

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan, however, said that the tour will go ahead as per schedule. “The tour to England is very much on track and the side will depart as per schedule on 28 June. Fortunately, all the first-choice red-ball  squad, barring Mohammad Rizwan, are negative, which means they can start training and practicing immediately after they have been tested and given the all clear when they arrive in England

“In the meantime, Misbah-ul-Haq is reviewing the training schedule in England and is firming up plans for reserve players to be tested as a backup.”

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