South African cricketers in self-isolation

South Africa's cricket player Faf du Plessis wearing a facemask amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, arrives at a hotel in Kolkata on March 16, 2020.
South Africa's cricket player Faf du Plessis wearing a facemask amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, arrives at a hotel in Kolkata on March 16, 2020.
Image: Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP

Having returned from their aborted ODI tour of India on Wednesday morning, the Proteas squad will go into a 14-day self-isolation as a precaution against the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

South Africa had embarked on a three-match ODI tour of India earlier this month, with the first match washed out in Dharamshala while the other ODIs were to take place in Lucknow and Kolkata. The spread of the disease worldwide meant the series had to be rescheduled.

Such is the global scale of the disease that India’s money spinning Indian Premier League that was supposed to start on March 29 has been pushed back to April 15.

Proteas chief medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra said the players will be following strict protocols while in self-isolation.

“We’ve recommended that all the players self-isolate and social distance themselves for a minimum of 14 days because that’s proper guidance to protect people around them who could be vulnerable,” Manjra said.

“In that period, should any of those players have symptoms or any other factors that are a cause for concern, we’ll make sure they’re investigated appropriately and managed according to the necessary protocols.”

The spread of the disease worldwide has had a marked impact on domestic and international sport. South Africa’s domestic cricket season has been halted while provincial cricket offices have closed down, with necessary officials being on standby. South Africa currently has 116 recorded cases of the disease as per the time of going to print.

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Manjra said the lay of the global land changed significantly from the time they arrived in India when the disease was not as widespread as it is now. However, Manjra said the players have been well educated in terms of what to look out for in terms of the disease. Medical experts will also be available for players in the event of adverse symptoms.

“We’ve educated the players on the disease – what it is, what it means and the symptom recognition, monitoring themselves in terms of temperature and the other symptoms that come with the coronavirus. We’re comfortable that they know what the disease is,” Manjra said.

“We’ve continued to make our experts available to them post-tour, so if any of them have any concerns, they’ll contact us or the medical staff.”

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