India-returned South Africa cricketers are COVID-19 negative
JOHANNESBURG: All the South African players, who returned from their incomplete ODI tour of India, were found to be symptom-free of coronavirus and those who underwent tests returned negative, according to the team’s chief medical officer Dr. Shuaib Manjra.
The South Africans, who returned from India on March 18, completed a 14-day period of self-isolation on Thursday, but will remain in lockdown for the next two weeks just like the rest of the country.
“All the players were symptom-free and those who opted to perform the tests returned negative results,” Dr. Manjra was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
The first match in Dharamsala on March 12 was washed out while the second and third games to be played in Lucknow and Kolkata – on March 15 and 18 respectively – were called off indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
South Africa is in the midst of a 21-day nationwide lockdown, which prohibits leaving home except to buy food or medicine and does not allow for any outdoor exercise.
Cricket South Africa’s focus now is on maintaining the players’ fitness and trainer Tumi Masekela has sent all the players their training programmes.
“We’ve got time now to work with players in terms of addressing the small niggles that they may have. They have got time to rest and also to do the strength work,” he said.
“But the one big thing is the running volume, the aerobic capacity base, which I am going to try and build up in the next two weeks, so that means lot of running, or a lot of cardio work, cycling or swimming.”
The South African team doesn’t have any international match lined up until June.
South Africa has more than 1,400 COVID-19 infected people with five deaths.