A spectator from the second Border Gavaskar test-match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) has tested positive for COVID-19, Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed in a statement earlier today. The diagnosis has put CA on high alert mode and will see the implementation of some stringent rules ahead of the Sydney test starting from January 7.
Male spectator from MCG match tests COVID positive
Based on available information, the spectator in question is a man in his 30s, seated in Zone 5 of the MCG. He entered the ground on 27 December 2020, the second day of the game, through gate number five or six and was present there between 12: 30 to 3: 30 PM (local time). On 30 December, he started developing early symptoms of the disease; which later confirmed his COVID diagnosis through a positive test-result on January 5. The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services was notified on the same day itself.
The Victorian Health Department has confirmed that the man wasn’t infectious when he attended the MCG test. But they haven’t ruled out the venue as a potential source of the infection yet. “Based on the information available from the case, the man was not infectious while at the sites. But there is potential that he acquired the virus there,” the department said in their statement.
“The man developed symptoms on 30 December and the department was notified of his positive test on 5 January. He hasn’t visited any high-risk Victorian exposure sites or New South Wales, so we can’t pinpoint any particular site as the source of infection. We are still conducting our investigation of several venues,” the statement added.
Sydney test to have reduced crowds and mask usage compulsory; spectators from MCG match prohibited from entry
Consequently, CA has decided to implement a minimal health-risk policy for the upcoming third test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The New South Wales (NSW) government has mandated the wearing of masks for every spectator in the ground. The allowed stadium capacity has also been reduced from 50 percent to 25. Additionally, all spectators from the previous Boxing Day test have been banned from attending this match.
NSW has recently been dealing with a major COVID outbreak, which makes health and safety and even bigger priority there. In fact, until last week, CA were mulling over reassigning Melbourne as the venue for the third game as well. There have been mixed reactions on the decision to play with reduced crowds at the SCG. Australia captain Tim Paine, however, has backed the decision-makers for their prudent judgement.