Former Durham coach and Sri Lanka batting coach Jon Lewis is set to join Bangladesh national cricket team as batting consultant ahead of the series against the West Indies. But the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will decide on the term of his contract after two series.
Ahead of his first assignment, Lewis has arrived in Dhaka on Thursday. But he won't be able to join the team immediately as England returnees have to quarantine themselves for 14 days as per the rules set by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). That means, Lewis cannot join the team before the 20th.
The BCB has been trying to convince the DGHS so that it relaxes the rules for Lewis and his compatriot Mark Robinson, who has taken up the role of head coach of the Women's cricket team. Richardson has quarantined himself on arrival in Dhaka.
The staff arriving from overseas except these two have been permitted to resume their duties after they had tested negative for Covid-19 on arrival. "The UK returnees have to quarantine themselves for 14 days, as per the rules. We have contacted the concerned authorities and appealed for the remission of quarantine," said BCB CEO.
"Not only (Jon) Lewis, there is another coach of the Women's team. If our appeal is granted, then they can join the teams after acquiring two Covid-19 certificates," he added.
If eventually the rules are bent for the British coaches, it may well backfire as they are coming from a country where the Covid-19 situation is still dire. Recently England cricketer Moeen Ali, on arrival to Sri Lanka, tested positive to Covid-19. Since the situation in England still very dangerous, it is important for the UK returnees to complete the quarantine before interacting with the people here. No quarantine for the coaches may mean an unknowing exposure of the entire contingent to Covid-19.
The remission of quarantine can prove extremely risky, according to Dr. Jahidur Rahman, assistant professor of virology department of Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College, Dhaka. He told The Business Standard (TBS), "Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. That's why we always talk about 14-day quarantines."
"If someone is infected just before or after boarding the plane and undergo Covid-19 screening two-three days after landing, the result may not turn out positive. Because the virus won't grow much inside the body in two-three days. So, the risks will remain. So, the duration of quarantine must not be reduced. And they (Lewis and Robinson) are coming from such a country where the Covid-19 situation is not good at all. That's why even if they have Covid-19 negative certificates, they have to quarantine themselves for 14 days,' Dr. Rahman added.