BCCI to facilitate 30,000 RT-PCR tests during IPL 2nd phase, medical staff to stay in same bubble

The rescheduled IPL will have RT-PCR testing every third day, instead of every fifth day during the last edition in the UAE

The BCCI, along with its medical service provider VPS Healthcare, will facilitate the conduct of over 30,000 RT-PCR tests on all IPL players, support staff and other stakeholders during the remaining 31 games of the cash-rich league in the UAE.

In fact, the Dubai-based health care company is also in charge of emergency treatment of players, sports medicine experts and even air ambulance support during the tournament that starts on September 19. To avoid players moving out of the IPL bio-bubble for any kind of medical emergency, the nursing and medical staff will be accommodated in the same hotel bio-bubbles.

The rescheduled IPL will have RT-PCR testing every third day, instead of every fifth day during the last edition in the UAE. It is learnt that to cater to the needs of the players and other participants of the IPL, it has set up a 100-member multidisciplinary team for sports medicine and COVID-19 management.

Two medical teams comprising doctors, nurses, paramedics and laboratory technicians will be assigned to each stadium for every match. Ahead of the arrival of the players, VPS Healthcare completed testing for over 750 hotel staff across 14 hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. On August 13, it started testing the players of the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings teams. With the updated protocol requiring players and officials to get tested once every three days, the healthcare provider anticipates over 30,000 PCR tests this year.

It has the capacity to conduct 2,000 PCR tests for the IPL each day, with a turnaround time of 6-8 hours. Moreover, to ensure secure bio-bubbles, nurses and other medical staff are accommodated in the same 14 hotels as the players till the end of the tournament. Dr. Shajir Gaffar, CEO of VPS Healthcare (Dubai and Northern Emirates), said, “Our team is completely equipped to take care of the medical needs of the IPL participants. “The UAE has a good strike rate in seamlessly conducting high-profile sports events during the pandemic. Even in these challenging times, the country is setting new benchmarks in expertly managing international sporting tournaments through its state-of-the art stadiums, watertight measures, and well-trained personnel.

“With the second leg of the IPL and ICC T20 World Cup happening back-to-back, the UAE can solidify its pioneering position as a safe global sporting destination.”

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