Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) officials have informed that all 36 persons -- 30 players and six officials -- will be retested for Covid-19 on Monday in two different facilities of Dhaka.
The decision comes after a total of 18 players and an official among 29 tested over the previous few days were found to be positive even though most of them had submitted negative reports prior to being tested at the BSMMU under BFF's supervision.
"We are surprised too at the results of the Covid-19 tests. The last batch of seven players was tested today (at the BSMMU). However, all the players and coaching staff will be tested again on Monday from (two) reputed institutions. Whoever will be found positive will be kept in isolation; in case of anyone being in serious condition, he will be treated at a hospital accordingly. However, none of the players of officials, except for one, have shown any symptoms of Covid-19," BFF's vice-president and national teams committee (NTC) chairman Kazi Nabil Ahmed said in reply to queries from journalists during an online press conference today.
The tests will be done to clear any confusion over the status of the players regarding Covid-19 infection, he claimed.
The BFF officials also claimed that the confusion regarding the test results -- seven players and an official were eventually found Covid-19 positive on Friday after the federation had announced them negative on Wednesday -- happened due to 'an error in communication stemming from a server related issue', and not due to 'any fault of the testing procedure'.
"We were identified of three players being Covid-19 positive on the first day of testing. Later (on Friday night), we were informed that five more players from the first day's testing were positive which they found after checking the server. This happened due to a technical issue -- transmission of information, which was beyond our control," claimed Dr Emran Ali, an associate professor of BSMMU and deputy chairman of BFF's medical committee.
They also claimed that among the 24 players tested at BSMMU on Wednesday and Thursday, 18 had previously submitted reports of Covid-19 testing and 16 of those reports were negative.
While the high number of positive tests among the footballers and the overall confusion regarding the test results has been widely reported in local and international media, the BFF high-ups implied that there was no reason yet to be concerned about Bangladesh's hosting of World Cup qualifying matches in October and November, adding that 29 players of the original 36-member squad will be based at the camp in Gazipur.
The Covid-19 infected players will be kept in isolation while Bishwanath Ghosh and Nabib Newaz Jibon will not be joining the camp at the moment, the press conference was informed.
Skipper Jamal Bhuiyan is expected to return from Denmark at the end of this month while Finland-based Tarik Kazi might come to Bangladesh in the third week of this month. The foreign coaching staff – head coach Jamie Day and assistant coach Stuart Watkiss – will join the camp following Covid-19 tests in Bangladesh upon their arrival on August 17. Three players of Bashundhara Kings will join the camp in October.