New Zealand batsman Tim Seifert tests positive for COVID-19, to stay in India
COVID-19, to stay in IndiaChristchurch/UNI: Black Caps' wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert, who represented Kolkata Knight Riders in the now postponed IPL 2021, has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be travelling home on the charter flight with the rest of IPL-based New Zealand players, support staff and commentators.
Seifert, who is currently in isolation in Ahmedabad, is expected to be transferred to Chennai for treatment, in the same private hospital where former Australia cricketer and CSK batting coach Michael Hussey has been staying since testing positive for COVID-19.
As per New Zealand Cricket's statement on Saturday, Seifert failed both his pre-departure RT-PCR tests and is currently experiencing "moderate symptoms". The statement also noted that he had "returned seven negative tests in the 10 days leading up to his pre-departure protocols".
"Once Seifert has undergone treatment and the statutory period of isolation and has tested negative for COVID-19, he will be transferred back to New Zealand where he will undergo the mandatory 14-day period of managed isolation," the NZC statement said.
"It's really unfortunate for Tim and we'll do everything for him that we can from this end, and hopefully he will be able to test negative, and be cleared and approved for discharge as soon as he's well again," David White, New Zealand Chief Executive, said.
"Since receiving the news, we've organised support for Tim and have also - via the players association, been in contact with his family to ensure they're kept fully informed and updated on developments," he added.
One of the two charter flights transporting New Zealand's IPL contingent back home has already departed India, and the other will leave this evening (NZ time) after being delayed for logistical reasons.
All those on the flights have been, and will be, observing prescribed pre-departure and in-flight protocols, including COVID-19 tests, social distancing, mask wearing and best-practice hygiene, and will again be assessed on arrival in Auckland.
White said he was grateful to the BCCI and the IPL franchises for organising the charter flights and medical assistance.
Meanwhile, there have also been changes to the travel plans of New Zealand's UK-bound Test contingent.
A day after Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, and physio Tommy Simsek were placed in a mini bio-secure bubble in New Delhi, it emerged that the four members have been transferred to the Maldives ahead of leaving for England.
On the other hand, trainer Chris Donaldson, who had earlier thought of returning home via one of the New Zealand-bound charter flights before flying to England, has now opted to remain with the UK-bound players and is also in the Maldives.
The decision for this group to transfer to the Maldives was taken after advice that their entry into the UK, initially thought to be about May 11, was likely to be delayed further by a week.