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Seventh Pakistan cricket team member tests positive for COVID-19 in New Zealand

11:25 AM Nov 28, 2020 |

A seventh member of the Pakistan touring squad has tested positive for coronavirus days after six members reported positive, New Zealand`s Ministry of Health said in a statement on Saturday.

Six members of the 53-member squad tested positive on Tuesday when the team arrived in New Zealand from Pakistan and began its compulsory 14-day stay in managed isolation.

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The seventh member tested positive Friday when players and officials again were tested on the third day of their isolation period.

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Under New Zealand rules, people in managed isolation generally are tested on the third and 12th days of the isolation period. The new infection was reported Saturday by New Zealand's ministry of health in its daily update of COVID cases.

"One additional member of the Pakistan cricket squad has today tested positive during routine testing," the Ministry of Health said in a statement. "The remainder of the results from the squad's day 3 swab testing, apart from the six who have already returned a positive result, are negative."

People who test positive while in isolation can be held beyond the usual 14-day period.

The Pakistan team has already received a final warning from the health ministry after players breached protocols on their first day in isolation. The ministry said closed-circuit television footage from the team's Christchurch hotel showed squad members mingling in corridors and sharing food.

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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO Wasim Khan had told the team that the New Zealand government has given them a "final warning" after the side breached quarantine protocols.

Khan warned the players that "they'll send us home" if the team commits one more breach.

"Boys, I spoke to the New Zealand government and they told us there were three or four breaches of protocols. They have a zero-tolerance policy and they've given us a final warning. We understand that this is a difficult time for you, and you went through similar conditions in England," ESPN Cricinfo had quoted Khan as saying in a Whatsapp voice message to the players.

"It's not easy. But this is a matter of the nation's respect and credibility. Observe these 14 days and then you'll have the freedom to go to restaurants and roam about freely. They have told me in clear terms that if we commit one more breach, they'll send us home," he added.

As per a report in Stuff.co.nz, the reported breaches happened within the touring party and did not affect other guests at the facility.

"One additional member of the Pakistan Cricket squad has today tested positive during routine testing. The remainder of the results from the squad's Day 3 swab testing - apart from the six who have already returned a positive result, are negative," the country's Ministry of Health said on Saturday.

"The Pakistan Cricket Team will be next undergoing day six testing as planned," it added.

The Pakistan cricket team had arrived in Christchurch on Tuesday for a month-long tour of New Zealand. The squad led by Pakistan's all-format captain Babar Azam was under a mandatory 14-day quarantine period as per COVID-19 protocol.

Pakistan are slated to play three T20Is on December 18, 20, and 22, and the ICC World Test Championship fixtures will be held in Mount Maunganui and Christchurch on December 26-30 and January 3-7, respectively.

(With agencies)

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