IPL - VPS team
Members of a VPS Healthcare team in action during IPL 2020 in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Dubai: UAE-based VPS Healthcare will provide a 360-degree healthcare for the month-long IPL 2021 for the second consecutive year. The UAE leg of the event will be held in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah from September 9 to October 15.

Experienced in offering comprehensive COVID -19 solutions for IPL in 2020, VPS healthcare package for the cricket teams will include setting up, implementing, and monitoring Covid-19 RT-PCR testing for everyone associated with the event.

Sharing the details with Gulf News, Dr Shajir Gaffar, CEO of VPS Healthcare (Dubai and Northern Emirates), says, “Our team is completely equipped to take care of the medical needs of the IPL participants. As experienced health-care providers, we are committed to ensuring a safe environment for the players and other BCCI stakeholders throughout the tournament. We are confident that we can provide a great sporting experience for this year’s IPL as well.”

Dr Gaffar pointed out that the UAE had been seamlessly conducting high-profile sports events during the pandemic. “Even in these challenging times, the country is setting new benchmarks in expertly managing international sports tournaments in its state-of-the art stadia, watertight measures and well-trained personnel.

With the second leg of the IPL and ICC T20 World Cup happening here back-to-back, the UAE can further consolidate its pioneering position as a safe global sporting destination.’’

Elaborate COVID -19 screening 

To ensure a safe IPL experience, VPS Healthcare has made elaborate arrangements in all its hospitals across the host cities. As the official medical partner of BCCI, the group will be responsible for providing a broad range of services including emergency medical services, sports medicine support, musculoskeletal imaging, specialist tele-consultation, doctor-on-call and ambulance/air ambulance support.

They have also set up a 100-member multi-disciplinary team for sports medicine and COVID-19 management. Two medical teams comprising doctors, nurses, paramedics and lab technicians will be assigned to each stadium for every match.

Strict testing Protocol

Despite having fewer matches in the UAE this year, the rescheduled IPL will see increased COVID-19 testing.Ahead of the arrival of the players, VPS Healthcare completed testing for over 750 hotel staff across 14 hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Starting from August 13, VPS started testing the players of the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings teams. With the updated protocol requiring players and officials to get tested once every three days, the healthcare provider anticipates over 30,000 PCR tests this year.

It has the capacity to conduct 2000 PCR tests for the IPL each day, with a turnaround time of six-eight hours for the reports. Moreover, to ensure secure bio bubbles, nurses and other medical staff are accommodated in the same 14 hotels as the players till the end of the tournament.

Health emergencies 

Last year, VPS Healthcare handled 80 hospital visits and facilitated the treatment of 156 injuries across its hospitals during the 2020 IPL season. 

After providing comprehensive healthcare solutions for the IPL last year, the group offered COVID-related services for other international sports events like the UAE Tour cycling, AFC Champions League group stage matches, Abu Dhabi T10 and UFC.

Response Plus Medical, the group’s on-site medical team, will provide ambulance/air ambulance support during the matches. Injured players will be provided care at VPS hospitals in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah while players requiring the air ambulance facility will be taken to Burjeel Medical City.