The English Premier League has revealed 40 new COVID cases in the latest round of testing – more than double the previous week and the highest figure yet recorded, the Daily Mail of UK reported on Tuesday.
The latest test results come amid an alarming rise in coronavirus cases in the UK, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposing a new lockdown to keep the mutant COVID strain at bay, which is known to spread more easily.
Last week’s Premier League testing saw 18 positive results come back – which was the previous highest weekly figure since Project Restart.
The Premier League has now moved to testing players twice per week. Between Monday, December 28 and Thursday, December 31, 1,311 players and club staff were tested for Covid. Of these, there were 28 new positive tests.
Between Friday, January 1 and Sunday, January 3, 984 people were tested and of these, there were 12 new cases.
The Premier League said in a statement:
“With low numbers of positive tests across the overwhelming majority of clubs, the league continues to have confidence in its COVID-19 protocols, fully backed by the government, to enable fixtures to be played as scheduled. Players or club staff who have tested positive will self-isolate for a period of 10 days.”
During the most recent testing period, three fixtures were postponed following an increased number of positive tests at two clubs.
Fulham’s matches against Burnley and Tottenham were called off due to an outbreak in their camp, while Manchester City’s trip to Everton was also postponed as the virus spread among Pep Guardiola’s squad during the Christmas break.
There has also been widespread criticism and concern after Premier League players at five clubs flouted coronavirus restriction rules prompting public health experts to call rule-breakers to be suspended from matches.
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