Covid scare: Retests show two India A coaches were ‘false positives’ cases

The biggest fears of the Indian cricket board almost came true on Wednesday evening as two India A team coaches in South Africa tested positive for Covid-19 initially before further investigation confirmed their result as ‘false positives’.

The India A team is playing its last four-day game in Bloemfontein and all players, along with the support staff, underwent RT-PCR tests on Wednesday morning. As all the players’ tests returned negative, the team decided to continue the game.

Dr Shuaib Manjra, the chief medical officer of Cricket South Africa, told The Indian Express: “On further investigation, the labs confirmed the test as negative, indicating that the initial result was a false positive.”

After the initial positive results, the two coaches were asked to isolate for the next 24 hours.

It is learnt that the India A support staff got to know about the coaches testing positive during the third day’s play in Bloemfontein. The match carried on as the two coaches went back to the hotel and isolated themselves.

The India A games are being played in a bio-bubble.

It is learnt that before the tour game kicked on, one of the coaches, Sairaj Bahutule, had a fever and isolated himself in his room for two days. His report came back negative then.

The BCCI had sent Bahutule as bowling coach, Saurashtra’s Sitanshu Kotak as batting coach and Assam’s Subhadeep Ghosh as fielding coach.

The senior Indian team has delayed its tour to South Africa by a week after there was a proliferation of infections from the new Covid variant Omicron in that country. The squad will now depart for South Africa on December 16.

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