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8th member of Pakistan cricket team tests positive for COVID

An eighth member of the Pakistan cricket team in New Zealand has tested positive for COVID-19 and will join seven previously-diagnosed teammates in quarantine.

The positive test was confirmed Wednesday by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health in its daily bulletin on COVID cases.

The first six cases involving members of the 53-strong Pakistan squad were detected on the team’s first day in New Zealand last week and the seventh shortly afterwards. Players and officials have since been tested on the third and sixth days of their 14-day period of managed isolation.

The team was stripped of its exemption to practice from the third day of the isolation period when players breached protocols on their first day in their Christchurch hotel.

Squad members were required to spend the first three days in their own rooms before they would be allowed to train in several “bubbles.” Close circuit television at the hotel captured pictures of players mingling in corridors and sharing food, leading to the removal of the training exemption.

The team was issued with a “final warning” which might have seen it expelled from New Zealand if further breaches occurred. The Ministry of Health said the team’s conduct had “significantly improved” since the warning of issue.

The medical officer of health in Canterbury province will decide whether the training privilege should be reinstated.

Pakistan is due to meet New Zealand in three Twenty20 internationals from Dec. 18 and two test matches starting Dec. 26.

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