TODAY |

Pakistan cricketers test positive for Covid-19 in Christchurch, quarantine protocols breached

Six members of the Pakistan touring cricket squad, currently in managed isolation in Christchurch, have tested positive for Covid-19.

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The team and officials have been issued a warning after breaching managed isolation rules. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand Cricket confirmed the cases in a statement this afternoon, adding two of these six results have been deemed “historical” but the other four have been confirmed as new.

"This means that, in line with the protocols governing the squad’s entry into New Zealand, the six members of the squad will be moved to the quarantine arm of the managed isolation facility," NZC said in a statement.

"As a consequence, the Pakistan team’s exemption to train while in managed isolation has been put on hold until investigations have been completed."

Prior to leaving Lahore, all members of the 53-strong touring squad returned negative results on the four occasions they were tested however NZC added they had been made aware that some members of the team had since contravened protocols on the first day of managed isolation in Christchurch.

NZC's statement was backed up by the Ministry of Health, who said in their own statement "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".

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the team has been issued a "final warning".

“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.” 

Pakistan play the Black Caps next month in three T20s before finishing their tour with two Tests, the last of which is in early January.

This afternoon's cases come after the other cricketing squad touring New Zealand currently - the West Indies - had their training exemption revoked for "repeatedly" breaking managed isolation rules in Christchurch earlier this month.

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CEO Johnny Grave said players in separate training bubbles appear to have socialised together. Source: 1 NEWS

Instances of broken rules, which were caught on CCTV and also reported by staff, included West Indies members mingling and sharing food.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons apologised on behalf of his team at the time.

“The disappointing thing is they’re not difficult rules to follow. These are simple rules that you can follow day-to-day. That’s why it’s so disappointing," Simmons said.