Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
A chain of hospitals and drugstores in the UAE has begun conducting the mandatory COVID-19 tests — expected to reach over 20,000 — to participants of the crowd drawer, the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, the 13th edition of which shall start in Dubai on Sept.19 (Saturday).
“The teams have already started coming in for the tournament. So we have already begun the testing process,” VPS Healthcare LLH, Lifecare & Medeor Hospitals chief executive officer Safeer Ahamad said on Thursday.
The chain was chosen by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) which governs the 53-day competition, as the official testing partner because they want to guarantee that all players, support staff of franchisees, their personnel as well as other stakeholders will remain free from the dreaded Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Ahamed said: “This is one of the bio-bubbles (procedures to avoid the contraction and spread of the SARS-CoV2). Everyone will be regularly tested in specific intervals.
Aside from the COVID-19 tests, the results of which would be known and released “under 12 hours,” talks are ongoing and “progressing” between the two parties with regards the additional “provision of allied medical support services as per the requirements of the tournament which has eight tens rostered.
“If these talks fructify, then the VPS facilities in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah will be there for the medical services that include hospitalisation and treatments,” said Ahamed.
On the other hand, citing his concern over the rise in coronavirus cases worldwide, former Indian cricketer Madan Lal on Thursday said that this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) would be the “toughest” for cricketers, both mentally and physically.
Speaking to reporters, Madan Lal said that no cricketer should, even by accident, break the COVID-19 protocol in the UAE, where the IPL starts on September 19. “There are challenging days ahead for the cricketers. It will be their toughest IPL as they can’t roam outside, explore the place to relax their mind.
Pursuant to his earlier call to follow the safety protocols, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) skipper reiterated on Tuesday that everybody should respect the bio-secure bubble.
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