Proteas touring group that went to India show no signs of the coronavirus

South Africa's cricket player Faf du Plessis wearing a facemask amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, arrives at a hotel in Kolkata on March 16, 2020.
South Africa's cricket player Faf du Plessis wearing a facemask amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, arrives at a hotel in Kolkata on March 16, 2020.
Image: Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP

Proteas chief medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra says the Proteas touring group that went to India didn’t show signs of the coronavirus.

The virus‚ which has claimed plenty of lives around the world‚ has halted all major sporting events.

South Africa and India didn’t even have a completed game after the first of three ODI’s was washed out on March 12‚ with the next two games canned because of the spread of the virus.

Manjra though said the players still have to follow their fitness programs.

“The Proteas were placed into self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving back from India as per the recommendations.

"During this period‚ we continued to monitor the players for symptoms and signs of the disease.

"All the players were symptom free and those who opted to do the test were negative‚” Manjra said.

“All the players remain under lockdown as per the government regulations but we’re aware of the players needing to remain fit.

"Instructions have been sent to them in this regard.”

Proteas fitness trainer Tumi Masekela said the one positive from the coronavirus outbreak is that players will have enough time to rest and recover from niggles.

However‚ co-ordinating and communicating messages during the lockdown isn’t going to be easy.

“We normally have a short turnaround time in between series‚ so the unexpected benefit with Covid-19 is that we’ve had time to address all their small niggles.

"They’ve got time to rest and do the strengthening to prevent future injuries‚” Masekela said.

“The training and the communication has to be remote‚ along with the communication.

"That’s a direct result of the Covid-19. We can’t do our normal training where we can continually assess players and adjust programmes accordingly.”

Masekela said it’s important for professional athletes to remain fit‚ even though lockdowns around the world mean that sport isn’t about to take place anytime soon.

Masekela’s optimism was also tempered by the fact that there’s no immediate cure or vaccine for the brutal disease.

“It’s important that professional athletes‚ including the Proteas‚ continue their training.

"In these uncertain times‚ a cure could be synthesised or the lockdown could flatten the curve quite quickly. We could find ourselves back into our schedules quite quickly.

"The athletes need to be able to participate immediately when everything is lifted and there’s free range of movement‚” Masekela said.

“If things do take time to settle down‚ we don’t want our athletes to lose the fitness base that they’ve built.

"It’s crucial they continue with their fitness programme so they can maintain what they’ve built in the past few years.”


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