COVID-19 hits Premier League

Bloemfontein Celtic midfielder Given Mashikinya has tested positive for Covid-19.

Celtic released a statement in which they confirm that Mashikinya has the virus, but is not displaying any symptoms and is in self-isolation.

“Bloemfontein Celtic can confirm that after we have conducted Covid-19 tests on Friday, 19 June 2020, and one player [Mashikinya] tested positive,” the team said.

“The player was and still is asymptomatic and is currently in isolation for the next 14 days.”

Mashikinya is the second player from the Premiership to have publicly made known they contracted the virus after Orlando Pirates midfielder Ben Motshwari, who has since made a full recovery.

It has also been reported that three staff members, but no players, returned positive tests at Cape Wineland’s club Stellenbosch FC.

All players and staff at the 32 clubs that make up the top two divisions in South African football must undergo Covid-19 tests as part of government directives to allow teams to train, and ultimately play out the remainder of the season.

Kaizer Chiefs also confirmed that two players have tested positive for Covid-19 after 70 individuals underwent tests as part of the return to training protocols.

Chiefs announced on Tuesday that Covid-19 positive players will go into self-isolation for two weeks, although at this stage they are showing no symptoms of the virus.

“Following a series of Covid-19 tests conducted last Friday, two Kaizer Chiefs players’ results have come back positive from the laboratory,” Chiefs said in a statement.

“A total of 70 individuals, including players, members of the technical team, and other club officials were tested for Covid-19 in preparation for the restart of the 2019/20 season.

“At the time of doing these tests, players and officials were screened and monitored by healthcare workers and team doctors. None of the people tested showed any signs or symptoms of Covid-19,” the club noted.

It added: “All the players and officials were given different timeslots and did not come into contact with each other.

“The affected duo will be in self-isolation for the stipulated period of 14 days. They will be retested after the isolation period as required. If their tests come back negative, they will then be able to rejoin the team.

“Kaizer Chiefs’ medical team and management are working around the clock to provide the necessary support to the affected individuals and ensure they follow the guidelines.”

Chiefs currently lead the Absa Premiership by four points, ahead Mamelodi Sundowns, although they have played a game more. They have eight more matches remaining in the 2019/20 season.

By: Thapelo Molebatsi