Proteas team doctor fears ‘bio-bubble’ may have been breached

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The Proteas team doctor Shuaib Manjra is concerned about a possible breach of the team’s bio-secure ‘bubble’. 

Manjra aired his concerns after the first one-day international against England was postponed because a Proteas player tested positive for COVID-19.

Proteas medical team investigating possible breach

More tests will be conducted by the team on Saturday ahead of the scheduled ODI in Paarl on Sunday.

The team doctor would not speculate on the possibility of more postponements or possible cancellations.

South Africa’s home summer appears to be in jeopardy though as questions are raised about the ability to maintain a bio-secure environment.

“We will re-test all our players and hotel staff on Saturday and await the results and determine a course of action,” Manjra said on Friday 4 December.

“This test has surprised us because we had confidence in the bio-secure environment.”

Manjra said team management are investigating the possibility that the bubble may have been breached due to either negligence or failure to adhere to the health protocols.

“There has been some kind of breach which we’ve investigated in great detail to try and determine where this happened, by speaking to the player and looking at security camera footage.”

Series to go ahead

Manjra conceded that England’s camp have expressed their concerns regarding the situation and says that the medical teams have been in consultation.

“England is questioning the confidence they have in the bio-secure environment – and rightfully so. We respect that concern and have met with the England medical teams,” he said.

England Cricket

Ashley Giles, managing director of the touring England cricket team, said the health and safety of their players and management was the number one priority. England are confident the series will be completed but the timeframe is very tight and the players will be eager to get home and complete quarantine ahead of the festive season.

“The England party will remain at is base in Cape Town on Friday and Saturday and we are hopeful that the three-match series will be played before we depart next Thursday,” Giles said in a statement.

Manjra dismissed a rumour that at least one Proteas player had left theor hotel without prior authorisation. 

“I can categorically state that no player would be able to leave the hotel environment,” the doctor said. He said there was strict security, supervised by a South African Police Service colonel: “It is impossible to leave except in an official vehicle with an official driver.”

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