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IPL issues guidelines for franchise owners, players to undergo 7-day isolation period as COVID cases surge

Players who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to undergo an RT-PCR test after five days of isolation.

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The Indian Premier League (IPL) is taking a cautious approach to Covid-19 ahead of the 2023 edition. The cash-rich league will return to its traditional home-and-away format for the first time since 2019, but will do away with the bio-secure bubbles that became a regular feature in the tournament over the last three seasons. However, the IPL will still follow several protocols if a positive test is returned.

According to a report by ESPNCricinfo, the IPL's notification to the franchises stated that players or members of the support staff who test positive will have to undergo a 7-day isolation period, even though restrictions have eased in the sport around the world. The IPL wants to be cautious and careful, ensuring the safety of all involved. During the isolation period, the person who tested positive will not be allowed to be with the team or participate in any activity or event with the rest of the team.

"While there has been a decline in the number of Covid-19 cases in India we still have to be careful of the emerging strains which are becoming a concern at regular intervals," the IPL's medical guidelines said.

Players who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to undergo an RT-PCR test after five days of isolation. If the results of this test are negative, they will then be required to undergo another test within 24 hours before being allowed to rejoin the team. 

"From day five, they can undergo a RT-PCR, provided they must be asymptomatic without any medication for 24 hours. Once the first result is negative the 2nd test must be done 24 hours apart. Only after obtaining two negative RT-PCR tests 24 hours apart i.e. day five and day six, can they rejoin the group," the guidelines added.

According to the guidelines, only players who exhibit symptoms will be tested for COVID-19, while asymptomatic players will not be tested. Despite some players competing in matches while infected with the virus (such as Tahlia McGrath in the CWG 2022 final and Matt Renshaw in the AUS vs SA Test), the BCCI and IPL are not willing to take any risks this time around.

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