With thousands of fans waiting with baited breath for the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) action to kick off today (Friday), the management has placed all players, management and support staff members in the league’s bio-secure bubble as part of a safety protocol to protect them from the coronavirus.
The decision to place players, management and support staff members has become a necessary move considering the outbreak of the coronavirus over the past year or so.
The development takes place at a time when the Delta variant of the coronavirus has wreaked havoc in several countries around the world, and has led to a surge of coronavirus cases in both India and Pakistan.
A bio-secure bubble or a bubble is a new terminology that emerged in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic that is rampaging around the globe since December 2019. It is a hosting arrangement for sporting events. It requires events to be held at a centralized site.
It usually involves quarantining strictly and following safety protocols to curb the chance of infections spreading among those in the bubble.
A bio-secure bubble comprises sites close to each other, including player residences (such as hotels), training facilities, and the event’s venue. The bio-secure protocols require that all participants, including players, team crew and other staff (such as broadcasting staff present on-site) to be properly screened and tested for COVID-19 before entering it. They may not leave it until the event concludes.
All 100 rooms available at the local hotel have been reserved for KPL teams and officials. Also, the teams have been assigned separate timings for breakfast and gym training in accordance with the Covid-19 SOPs.
All six teams have been divided into two groups for training purposes in order to avoid crowding at spaces.
The KPL management has also limited the number of spectators visiting the grounds to watch the live action of the cricketing event.
Only 30% of spectators will be allowed to come to the ground to watch the KPL matches, said President KPL Arif Malik while talking to Geo News.
“Only vaccinated people will be able to come to the ground,” he specified.
The KPL chief also announced that a vaccination centre will be set up at the game venue with the help of the local government. Spectators will also have to follow basic Covid-19 SOPs as long as they are on the ground, said Arif Malik.