It is not appearing as bad as on the previous occasion because medical health experts monitoring this year’s event say double doses of vaccination and timely booster shots have helped. However, Mitchell Marsh testing positive and his CT Value showing a scary ’17’ has once again put everybody in a state of frenzy.
On Wednesday, Tim Seifert, the Delhi wicketkeeper-batsman from New Zealand, tested positive, leading to random testing of all other cricketers, coaches, and support staff staying at a South Mumbai hotel all day. The franchise had first reported a positive case on 15th when physiotherapist Patrick Farhart had tested positive and a second one on 16th when the team masseur followed.
After Seifert tested positive, the franchise officials panicked further when some RAT tests showed positive on Wednesday, but RT PCR reports came negative. The team, this time, ordered fresh test samples to be sent to a local hospital in Mumbai for a last minute confirmation.
Wednesday’s match, which for most part looked like it was about to be called off, was given a go ahead 45 minutes before the toss when test results came negative. “The entire Delhi Capitals contingent underwent two rounds of testing (Wednesday). Match (with Punjab Kings) will go ahead as per schedule after the second round turned negative,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.
Delhi’s next game versus Rajasthan Royals, scheduled in Pune for April 22 is now being shifted to the Wankhede Stadium. As the Wednesday drama ensued, there was panic all around. TOI spoke with franchises who are clear that protocols need to be “way stricter” in the tournament going forward.
“Earlier, there was only weekly testing. Why not daily or every alternate day? Second, the agency that has been appointed for this testing – the BCCI needs to ensure these guys are really good. It is not possible that RT PCR results are coming negative, but RAT has been coming positive so regularly. And most important, when Farhart and the masseur tested positive, why couldn’t the schedule be tweaked right then? The franchises that Delhi were playing were also ready to reschedule,” say those tracking developments.