A bio-bubble is a safe and secure environment that has been mandated by various international sports governing councils for sports tournaments during the covid-19 pandemic. A bio-secure environment or bio-bubble is planned to prevent the spread of coronavirus (covid-19). With bio-secure venues for sporting events, the members of the board aim at minimizing the risk of transmission of the virus from one person to another during an ongoing tournament or bilateral series.
A bio-bubble is isolated from the outside world in order to minimize the risk of covid-19 infection. It permits only authorized sports persons, support staff and match officials to enter the protected area after testing negative for covid-19.
NEED FOR BIO-BUBBLE
Another mandate of the bio-bubble is that players are not permitted to have access to their families, visitors, friends and relatives for the duration of the tournament, and are not permitted to pay a visit to family or friends, outside the teams’ bio-secure environment.
To maintain no transmission risks, a great deal of tech on a large scale is required. IPL, 2020’s secure bio-bubble, was created by a UK-based safety and technology firm.
Its software is covid-19 regulations-compliant, comprising testing, contact tracing and artificial intelligence (AI).
Sports personalities residing in a ‘bio-bubble’ travel from one bio-secure location to another as an isolated group. Even before entering a bio-bubble, players and staff undergo covid-19 testing and self-isolation for a fixed period of time.
Only if the players test negative during that period, they are allowed to enter the bubble. If someone tests positive, the bio-bubble system mandates that they are be housed in a so-called ‘isolation housing’ which should be in a location that is different from their team’s residence.
Once at the isolation housing, they are tested once again to rule out a false positive. If that test comes out positive, they stay in the isolation housing until they are well again.
The players would go ahead with bubble-to-bubble transfer, and must travel in dedicated vehicle only. Commentators and broadcast crew who are working on the above, can also avail bubble to bubble transfers provided they satisfy the criteria.
NBA, Cricket, Football and Tennis are the sports which have initiated the bio-bubble. In India, Indian Premier League (IPL) organized the tournament’s bio-bubbles in Ahmedabad and New Delhi.
The 2021 IPL was postponed multiple times after emerging cases of Covid-19. The cricket board was not sure about the reason of breach in bio-bubble. The reports later said that there was no such breach which made it more difficult to trace the transmission.
The matches organized in different cities comes with travel, waiting in queue, interacting with other people outside the bubble, going through terminal. Therefore, we need to understand that there was no breach in the IPL bio-bubble, but multiple other factors that led to failure.
The IPL has bounced back, with an improved strategy, protocols and lock-in process in UAE; leaving no stone unturned regarding safety and health of the people involved.
The prolonged stay in the bio-bubble, cut off from the outside world for a period of three months does take a mental toll. There are several players who have withdrawn from tournaments due to bio-bubble fatigue.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
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