The South African Proteas are currently undergoing a 14-day self-isolation since their return from India in which they did not manage to play any cricket.
India has reported 152 positive cases for COVID-19 with a total of 3 deaths which is relatively low given that the country as a population of over 1.3 billion.
South Africa were scheduled to play three one-day internationals in India but however returned back on Wednesday 18 March without even playing one ball.
The first of the games against India was postponed as a result of rain, then the remaining two were cancelled as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic which has recently rapidly increased.
Dr Shuaib Manjra who is the medical officer for Cricket South Africa travelled with the team as they went on tour, keeping a close watch on the team’s health and any risks posed by COVID-19 as they ravelled through Dubai, Delhi, Dharamsala, Kolkata and Lucknow.
When asked why the Proteas had decided to go on tour in the first place as well as what factors led to them cancelling the rest of the tour, Dr Shuaib Manjra went on to say:
“CSA had engaged in a risk assessment before the tour,”
“We deemed the risk to be very low. While on tour the world became a different place and we had to take cognisance of the fact that there was a change in the global environment.”
“Ultimately the players’ frame of mind was the determining factor,”
Another contributing factor besides the imminent threat of the coronavirus itself, was the fear of the team becoming stranded ina foreign land as countries worldwide have begun to shut down their borders in a bid to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The 14-day self-isolation is just a precautionary measure as the South African team did not really come into that much public contact on tour having used chartered planes and coaches whilst on tour.