Five SA women cricketers stuck in Bangladesh after COVID-19 tests

Seventeen other members of the South Africa Emerging team left Bangladesh late Monday, before the country imposed a ban on international flights over a surge in new cases there.

People leave the city as Bangladesh authorities ordered an eight-day lockdown to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Dhaka on 12 April 2021. Picture: Munir uz zaman/AFP

DHAKA - Five members of a South African women's cricket team have become stranded in Bangladesh after testing positive for COVID-19, officials said Tuesday.

Seventeen other members of the South Africa Emerging team left Bangladesh late Monday, before the country imposed a ban on international flights over a surge in new cases there.

The five remaining have been put into isolation in Dhaka, said Shafiul Alam Nadel of the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

"All members of the South African team gave COVID-19 test samples before their departure from Sylhet. Five of them tested positive," said Himangshu Lal Roy, deputy director of the Osmani Medical College in the northeastern city.

The team's fifth match was due to start on Tuesday in Sylhet.

But they cut short the tour because of the flight ban, which will last from Wednesday until 14 April, as part of efforts to combat the new spread of infections in the South Asian nation.

The five in isolation will be tested again and if the results are negative "we will send them back home at the earliest possible time," said Nadel.

Documents seen by AFP indicated that team manager Matshipi Marcia Letsoalo and players Sinalo Jafta, Leah Jones, Nobulumko Baneti and Robyn Searle had been left behind.

Bangladesh has reported more than 684,000 COVID-19 cases and almost 9,800 deaths. New infections have jumped to 7,000 cases a day in recent weeks, from below 300 in February.

The government has ordered an eight-day closure of all offices and transport from Wednesday.

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