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Sri Lanka ready to welcome England despite new Covid-19 strain concerns

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SL will host England in January


Sri Lanka ready to welcome England despite new Covid-19 strain concerns

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SportsCafe Desk


SLC's medical staff are now worried about the new strain of Covid-19 which has now reportedly emerged in England, but that is an obstacle Sri Lanka are ready to overcome while hosting England next month. SLC's medical staff are expected to have discussions with their ECB counterparts on Tuesday.

UK medical professionals found a new SARS-CoV-2 variant which was the major reason behind the rapid surge in Covid-19 cases in South and East England. Scientists called it VUI (Variant Under Investigation) 202012/01, or the B.1.1.7 lineage which has put many countries on alert. Sri Lanka are of course worried about the same, with the impending England series insight, but that is unlikely to put the series in doubt.

"I don't think we should [look at the new strain as something that jeopardizes the tour]," Dr Daminda Attanayake, the Sri Lankan team's physician who will take part in that meeting, told ESPN Cricinfo.

"Yes, anxiety is high at this stage from everybody. But when you look at the scientific evidence, I don't think we should stop it. We might have to take extra precautions, but we don't need to stop the tour."

Currently, the plan has it that England's players and support staff are scheduled to fly to Sri Lanka on a chartered flight, on January 2, and will undergo a three-day isolated quarantine in the team hotel. They will be allowed to begin training after three-days and of course, after negative RT-PCR tests, and after six days they can train as a group.

"When they come in they will not be in contact with my local people or the local providers, and they will be in quarantine. I don't see why we need to restrict them coming," he said. 

"[The new strain] will be discussed and we'll have to discuss how they come, and whether they will be getting into a biosecure bubble before they come, and before they get into their chartered flight. However, the protocols we follow when they are in the country, we are not going to amend."

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