Pakistan men’s cricket team members test positive for COVID-19

Six members of the Pakistan men’s cricket team have tested positive for COVID-19 at their managed isolation facility at the Chateau on the Park in Christchurch.

The Ministry is confirming these positive test results outside of our usual cycle of announcing cases because of the high public interest in visiting sports teams.

All members of the team returned a negative COVID-19 test and passed a symptom check before departing Lahore.

Fifty-three members of the squad arrived in Christchurch on 24 November and were tested on day 1. These cases are the results of those tests.

All cases are being moved to quarantine rooms within the facility. Members of the team will be tested a minimum of four times while in managed isolation.

As a result of these positive tests, members of the team will not be able to leave the facility to train. Any training is conditional on a public health assessment, so at this time, no training will be able to take place.

The Medical Officer of Health at Canterbury District Health Board has sent a letter to the squad’s management to be communicated to the whole team, reinforcing that all team members are required to stay in their rooms until advised otherwise.

In addition, since their arrival, several team members have been seen on CCTV at the facility breaching managed isolation rules, despite clear, consistent and detailed communication of expected behaviours while in the facility.

The team as a whole has been issued with a final warning.

It’s important to note that all incidents of breaches occurred within the facility and there is no risk to the public.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said any breaches of managed isolation rules were taken very seriously.

“It is a privilege to come to New Zealand to play sport, but in return teams must stick to the rules that are designed to keep COVID-19 out of our communities and keep our staff safe.”

Air Commodore Darryn Webb, head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine, said there are robust processes in place in managed isolation facilities to respond to these events.

“Our focus is on keeping the rest of the squad and our staff safe. For that reason, all other team members must remain in their rooms while investigations continue. This is in line with standard operating procedures at managed isolation facilities.”

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