Who Disrupted the 5th Test at the Old Trafford – Covid-19 fear or IPL?

The recent bilateral series between India and England has been stalled over a fear of the Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp after several members of the team caught the Covid-19 disease before the test was played. The declaration came just two hours before play as the deputy physio was reported to be Covid-19 positive the night before the match was played.

Earlier, the head coach Ravi Shastri, the bowling coach Bharat Arun and the fielding coach R Shridhar had contracted the virus. Many blame attending Ravi Shastri’s book launch in London before the 4th test as the main culprit behind breaching the bio-bubble. It was still bearable to the playing XI until both their physio turned out Covid-19 positive. The Indian players refused to take the field, although the players still tested negative, resulting in the match being rescheduled.

The England Cricket Board (ECB) refused to reschedule the match. The Indian cricket team has a tight schedule ahead, with the IPL starting 2 days after the conclusion of the scheduled 5th test. Hence postponing the match by 1-2 days was not possible. After the conclusion of the IPL, the T20 world cup is scheduled, making it impossible to be rescheduled anytime soon. ECB has made it clear that in no way can the rescheduling take place, and if the match does happen in the future, it will be a standalone test. ECB also concluded that India had forfeited the match, and hence England was declared winner of the match.

The IPL could have been played without a few Indian players at the start, but it is alleged that the absence of star players in the IPL would result in a sharp drop in popularity. Hence, BCCI is taking no chance to delay the IPL further or do away with a few star players. The second leg of IPL 2021 is scheduled to begin on 19th September in the UAE. As for how the India-England bilateral test series would conclude, the officials are yet to have an answer.

Written by – Himadri Paul

RT-PCR Test of Covid-19

Of all the Covid-19 tests that came to light in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic situation globally, the RT-PCR Test stood out as the ultimate Covid-19 test. Its full-form is reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. RT-PCR Test, when invented, used to cost as much as Rs. 5000 and was unaffordable by common people. However, as production grew, following advancement in technology, the price of RT-PCR Test has come down to as low as Rs. 300. In this article, let us see how this test works.

The sample is collected using a nose swab from your throat and nose. A swab is a thin, flexible stick that is inserted in your nostrils and throat to collect the virus. Covid-19 virus, if present, will get accumulated in the stick. The sample then reaches the laboratory, where the virus is extracted. The extraction process isolated genetic material from the sample, including genetic material of any viruses that may be present. The third step is the PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, in which millions of copies of the virus are produced for detection. Without the PCR, the number of viruses in the sample is too small to be detected. If Covid-19 is present, then the chemicals used in the process produce fluorescent light. It is the signal to suggest that the sample contains the Covid-19 virus.

A positive test result means that it is very likely you have Covid-19. If you test positive, don’t panic. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider, and follow the quarantine and self-isolation rules. Most people will recover following mild or no symptoms. A negative test result means you are unlikely to be affected by Covid-19 at the time of the test. However, you still have to follow all precautions given by the Government in your state, as you are still vulnerable to Covid-19 at the time of test or afterwards. Due to high sensitivity, you may test Covid-19 positive if you had been infected by Covid-19 a few weeks back and have recovered from it since then.

RT-PCR Test has numerous advantages:

  1. It delivers a report within 24 hours.
  2. It is the most reliable and accurate Covid-19 test, which can detect even residual virus, such as remnants of a virus from a near-past infection.
  3. Collection of sample is also hassle-free, and it could be processed in railway stations, entry and exit checkpoints, office buildings, that is it does not consume a large space and do not require extremely skilled labour.

Advantages of the RT-PCR Test made us possible to test for Covid-19 at tourist destinations at a minimal cost and also tour hassle-free in most tourist destinations in the country.

Written by – Himadri Paul