The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has issued a detailed guideline, prepared by the board’s medical team, to the state associations for the resumption of domestic cricket activities.
In the 100-page guideline – which Sportstar has access to – the BCCI has asked the state bodies to appoint a Chief Medical Officer, who along with the medical staff will be responsible for maintaining the bio-safety guidelines during the entire duration of camps, as well as the matches. Resumption of training in any shape or form will be subject to approval from the local administration. The idea is to create a bio-secure environment, but according to the guidelines, even if some spectators are allowed, they need to follow strict protocol.
The guideline says that as part of the Return to Training policy, “the medical team of each state units will have to acquire travel and medical history – past two weeks – of all the players and staff through an online questionnaire”. Any players and support staff suspected of COVID-19 like symptoms should undergo PCR tests. Two tests one day apart – Day One and Day Three – should be done to account for false negatives. If both the test results are negative, only then they will be allowed to attend the camp.
All the players and staff must download the Arogya Setu app for contact tracing, protection and prevention. Before the commencement of the season, the CMO will also need to conduct a webinar and inform the stakeholders about all the protocols.
Wearing a triple layer or N95 mask (without a valved respirator) over nose and mouth in public places is mandatory for all players and staff from the time they leave their home till the end of the camp (optional while training). Worn out and wet masks should be replaced from time to time.
Keeping in line with the ICC guidelines, all players and staff must agree to participate in the camp by signing a Consent Form for the resumption of training.
Moreover, “individuals who are over the age of 60 years, viz. support staff, umpires, ground staff, and those individuals with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, weakened immunity, etc should be considered vulnerable and are believed to have a higher risk of severe Covid-19. All such individuals should be discouraged from participating in the camps…”
In most state teams, the coaches and support staff are above 60, so that would be a major challenge. “We will have to study the plan in detail and then decide,” a state unit chief said.
The domestic tournaments will be played in empty stadiums for the most part of the season. – VIJAY SONEJI
The other major guidelines
# In case of accommodation, the players should be kept in single-occupancy rooms. If staying at a hotel, it should be close to the ground where the camp is to be conducted.
The academy/hotel staff should be screened for Covid-19 like symptoms two days before the players move in. Any staff showing signs of Covid-19 like symptoms should be removed from duty. It must be mandatory for academy/hotel staff to download and install the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones. The
body temperature of all staff should be recorded using a non-contact thermometer before they begin their duty every day.
The academy/hotel rooms and the common areas, including dining areas and common toilets, should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before the players move in. All facilities should continue to be disinfected on a regular basis, multiple times a day. If staying at a hotel, the players should be isolated from the rest of the hotel guests by segregating them in a separate block or particular floor/s.
# Hotel gymnasium, swimming pool, steam & sauna facilities should not be used by the players and support staff.
TRAVEL PROTOCOLS FOR PLAYERS AND STAFF MEMBERS
For Players staying at academies/hotels: The State Association must make appropriate travel arrangements (preferably by bus) for transporting the players from their accommodation to the ground and back. These buses must be for the exclusive use of players and staff. During non-training times, the buses should not be used for the general public.
The travel and medical history of the staff managing the bus must be provided to the CMO. Any staff showing signs of Covid-19 like symptoms should be removed from duty.
# The bus driver and helper/s must wear a triple layer mask covering nose and mouth at all times and clean their hands using liquid sanitizer as often as possible.·All players to maintain social distancing norms while seating in the bus (Only one person on each seat). Players should avoid sitting in the driver’s cabin.·The helper must provide hand sanitizer drops/spray to each individual before they enter the bus.
Players travelling from home
Players and staff travelling to the ground must preferably do so in their personal vehicles. Players who cannot travel in their personal vehicles should ideally be kept in the academy/hotel with the rest of the squad. If that is not possible, then players should use public transport for the commute.
While using public transport, players should avoid sharing the taxi/rickshaw with other commuters. If taking a bus, then they must ensure they follow social distancing norms.
#Spectators, players’ parents and other visitors should not be allowed entry into the stadium at any time of the day. Only players, support staff and other accredited ground, catering and security staff should be permitted.
# If any visitors are permitted, then they must be compulsorily screened using non-contact thermometer before entry into the stadium/ground. They must wear a triple layer mask covering their nose and mouth at all times.
# Only one entry point to the stadium should be accessible to control access to the ground.
# The ground staff should prepare the ground and the wickets during the time outside of the team training hours.
#Restrict the number of catering and dressing room attendant staff.
#All equipment and facilities (including the bathrooms) that are used will be wiped down and sanitized at the end of each training session.
# All ground staff should sanitize their hands regularly as per guidelines. All staff within the premises must wear a triple layer mask covering nose and mouth at all times.
PROTOCOLS TO MANAGE A SUSPECTED/ POSITIVE COVID-19 CASE
# Suspected/positive cases should be immediately isolated from the rest of the squad and managed in close coordination with local hospitals and treatment centres equipped with COVID-19 testing and treatment. All concerned cases should be dealt with as per the guidelines set by the Government of India which apply to that particular local area. Contact tracing to be commenced immediately.
# All staff handling positive cases must mandatorily wear a full PPE kit (goggles, face shield, N95 mask (without a valved respirator), gloves, coverall/gowns, headcover and shoe covers) while handling a suspected/positive COVID-19 case.
#·Disposal of waste generated during treatment/ diagnosis/ quarantine of suspected/positive COVID-19 cases should be done as per Central Pollution Control Board guidelines.
SOP FOR TRAINING
# All players and support staff’s symptoms (if any) and body temperature should be checked every morning.
# If a member develops any initial symptoms (cough, headache, chills, fever, body ache, difficulty breathing, loss of smell or taste or any other unusual symptoms) they should intimate the team medical personnel immediately and remain self-quarantined until help arrives.
# Training to be implemented following social distancing rules.
# All individual and team kit bags should be sanitized upon arrival and after every use.
# Sanitisation of cricket balls to be done after discussion with relevant authorities at BCCI headquarters.
#·All members should arrive dressed and ready to train to minimise the use of the dressing room, washrooms and communal areas.
# Spitting and clearing of nasal/respiratory secretions on the ground or at any place other than washrooms shall be prohibited. Members doing so should discard the soiled tissue paper securely in the provided dustbins.
NO USE OF SALIVA
For creating a safe training environment, all team members should strictly adhere to and implement the protocols of these guidelines.
All members should avoid stepping out of the team environment or meet anyone outside the team environment, including family members, for the entire duration of the camp.
If any member is required to travel outside the team environment for unavoidable circumstances, upon his/her return, he/she should be isolated from the rest of the squad and medically assessed, before he/she is allowed back in the team environment.
There are a set of guidelines for the National Cricket Academy as well. The players and the support staff have been issued a detailed do’s and don’ts, and with the Board trying to get the season back on track by December, the state associations will have plenty to ponder.