IPL 2020: UAE To Conduct More Than 20,000 PCR Tests On Cricketers & Hotel Staff

by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
IPL 2020: UAE To Conduct More Than 20,000 PCR Tests On Cricketers & Hotel Staff

The UAE is all set to host one of the most-awaited events of the year! IPL 2020 is just around the corner and cricket fans in the UAE have their plans in place. IPL 2020 was originally scheduled to begin on March 29. But after the Covid pandemic broke out, the event had to be postponed indefinitely.

On Sunday August 2, the governing council of the league confirmed that IPL 2020 will be held in the UAE. The most awaited event will be held at three venues across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah. The matches will run from September 19 to November 10. Players will still have to undergo a week’s isolation and testing before they can join their teams. Meanwhile, here’s where the IPL Teams Are Staying In The UAE. 

IPL Teams Arrive In The UAE

Teams have started arriving in the UAE ahead of the mega event. For the very first time in history, players walked out of the airport, clad in PPE suits. The players were greeted with ‘Marhaba,’ the traditional Arabic welcome, as they jetted into the country on chartered flights.

The Rajasthan Royals landed in Dubai airport on 20 August, followed by Kings XI Punjab. The Kolkata Knight Riders, winners in 2012 and 2014, jetted into Abu Dhabi upon arrival. Here’s where the IPL 2020 teams will be staying in the UAE.

Players To Remain In Their Rooms For One Week

Soon after landing, all the teams were whisked away to their hotels with utmost safety and precautions. All players were clad in PPE suits. Unlike the usual ‘rose water’ welcome, this time the teams were sprayed with sanitizers before heading to their rooms.

The teams will have no human contact for the first week, and will quarantine in their respective bio-secure rooms. The players spent time talking to each other through balconies. Besides, they were also handed over a fitness plan by their trainers. The hotel staff will deliver all items outside the room, ring the doorbell, and leave. The players must then wait a minute before opening the room door to collect food or toiletries left outside the door. No contact with other players or even the house keeping staff will be permitted for seven days. At the end of week 1, all players will be tested for Covid-19. Only if they test negative, will they be able to meet other players and start training.

More Than 20,000 PCR Tests To Be Done On Cricketers

A huge Covid-19 testing drive has been organized in the UAE, ahead of IPL 2020. Medical teams from VPS Healthcare have been brought onboard to conduct more than 20,000 PCR swab tests. Cricketers, hotel staff, and event managers, must undergo the test as part of a massive operation across the Emirates. Four nurses are assigned to monitor each IPL team, across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Teams will undergo Covid-19 test about three times a week and the samples will be tested in laboratories run by VPS in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Besides, nurses will also be tested five times a week during the IPL season.

The medical team will collect tens of thousands of nasal swabs for coronavirus testing. The testing is already underway for the teams that have landed in the UAE. Facilities for the testing have been set up in hotels as well as in stadiums. This intense testing is put in place to ensure safety protocols are taken care.

While matches will be played in a secure bubble, cricket fans are hopeful they will be allowed in the venue.