The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) along with its medical service provider will facilitate over 30,000 RT-PCR tests on all IPL players, support staff and other stakeholders during the second phase of IPL 2021 set to happen in UAE. VPS Healthcare, which is the medical service aid for the BCCI, will lead the same for the remaining 31 fixtures of arguably the biggest franchise-based T20 league in the world.
Moreover, it is being reported that the Dubai-based health care company is also responsible for the emergency treatment of players, sports medicine experts as well as an air ambulance during the tournament which is set to get underway on September 19. In order to restrict the movement of players even for medical emergencies, the medical, as well as nursing staff, will be accommodated in the same hotel bio-bubbles.
Phase two of IPL 2021 will have RT-PCR tests every third day instead of every fifth which was the norm in IPL 2020. In order to cater to the needs of the players and other members of the IPL contingent, a 100-member multidisciplinary team for sports medicine and COVID-19 management has also been set up.
"UAE setting new benchmarks in expertly managing international sporting tournaments"
Other than this, two medical teams comprising of doctors, nurses, paramedics and laboratory technicians will also be assigned to each stadium for every match. Before the arrival of the players in UAE, BCCI's medical service provider has already tested over 750 hotel staff across 14 hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. From August 13, the testing of players from the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings teams has already started. With the new protocol now mandating tests every three days, over 30,000 PCR tests are likely to be conducted this year.
"The UAE has a good strike rate in seamlessly conducting high-profile sports events during the pandemic. Even in these challenging times, the country is setting new benchmarks in expertly managing international sporting tournaments through its state-of-the-art stadiums, watertight measures, and well-trained personnel," Dr. Shajir Gaffar, CEO of VPS Healthcare (Dubai and the Northern Emirates), said as quoted in a PTI report.
"With the second leg of the IPL and ICC T20 World Cup happening back-to-back, the UAE can solidify its pioneering position as a safe global sporting destination," he added.