Covid-19: Five Indians, including Yash Dhull, ruled out of Under-19 World Cup game against Uganda


Aaradhya Yadav, Shaik Rasheed and Manav Parakh join their captain and Siddarth Yadav in isolation

Five Indian players, including captain Yash Dhull, have been ruled out of India’s final group-stage game of the Under-19 World Cup, against Uganda, after testing positive for Covid-19 in a fresh round of RT-PCR tests. Of the six players, who had isolated before the match against Ireland on Wednesday, only Vasu Vats has tested negative, a source in the ICC said.

“One positive out of this unfortunate situation is that the 11 who played against Ireland have all tested negative,” the ICC source said.

Among the infected, Dhull has the worst symptoms but he, along with the other players, “should be fine” before their quarter-final on January 29 (if they top Group B, which they are currently leading), the source said.

India registered a thumping win over Ireland in the second game, on Wednesday, to qualify for the knockouts after barely managing to field a team in the wake of the outbreak.

All the infected players are required to undergo five days of isolation as per tournament protocols and can only rejoin their team after returning three negative tests within that period.

How did the virus enter the bubble?
After winning the Under-19 Asia Cup in the UAE, the Indian team had flown to the Caribbean via Amsterdam. A support staff member, who is fine now, had tested positive during the hard quarantine upon arrival in Guyana after catching the infection in transit and it is believed the players contracted the virus from him.

The entire squad underwent a five-day hard quarantine in Guyana upon arrival and underwent three RT-PCR tests within that period. However, with the reports taking as long as 48 hours to arrive, the third test report was only made available on the seventh day.

“The players mingled with the coach in that period and that seems be to be the most likely source of outbreak in the team,” the source said.

It has also been learnt that the tournament’s bio-bubble could be stricter with team not being allocated dedicated floors in the hotel as it was during the Asia Cup in the UAE.

However, despite a tight bubble in Dubai, the virus managed to enter the environment and a league game between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh had to be abandoned after two officials involved in the game tested positive.

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