JOHANNESBURG. — There have been seven positive tests for coronavirus at four clubs as the South African Premiership football – the richest in Africa – prepares to restart.
Orlando Pirates midfielder Ben Motshwari was the first player to be infected with the Covid-19 disease and has made a full recovery.
Another midfielder, Given Mashikinya from Bloemfontein Celtic, also tested positive and is in quarantine.
Also in self-isolation are two unnamed Kaizer Chiefs players and three unidentified non-playing members of the Stellenbosch FC staff.
“The affected duo will be in self isolation for the stipulated period of 14 days,” a Chiefs statement said.
“They will be retested after the isolation period and if their tests come back negative, they will be able to rejoin the squad.”
A Stellenbosch official said: “We are assisting the staff members to recover as safely and speedily as possible and mitigate the risk of exposure to other employees.”
The coronavirus pandemic has yet to reach its peak in South Africa with health minister Zweli Mkhize warning this week that “the worst is yet to come”.
By late Friday, 124 590 cases of Covid-19 infection had been recorded with 2 340 deaths from the disease in the most industrialised African country.
The government gave the go-ahead last week for the Premiership, which offers 40 million Rand prize money, to resume.
Clubs have between six and nine fixtures to fulfil in the 30-round season with reports suggesting a mid-July resumption. Pitso Mosimane, coach of defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns, says the 16 clubs will need a minimum of three weeks to prepare for the restart of a league — TimesAlive.