Brazil clears four COVID-positive footballers to play

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Brazil clears four COVID-positive footballers to play

Thursday, August 13, 2020

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SAO PAULO, Brazil (AFP) — The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) cleared four footballers who tested positive for the new coronavirus to play last night against reigning Brazil and South American champions Flamengo, saying they were no longer contagious.

The four players from Atletico Goianiense were initially barred after testing positive Sunday, but the club successfully appealed the decision to the CBF's medical committee.

The committee reversed the players' medical suspension late Tuesday, saying their infections were more than 10 days old, that they had observed the necessary quarantine and that they were no longer contagious.

The ruling came just in time for Goianiense's season debut against Flamengo, the current holders of the Copa Libertadores and Brazilian league titles.

The head of the CBF medical committee, Jorge Pagura, said the decision was based on recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that have been endorsed by the World Health Organization.

“After a positive PCR test result, 10 days is sufficient to release the patient” from quarantine, Pagura told news site Globoesporte.

The CBF did not say when the four players were initially diagnosed.

Pagura said they did not need to undergo another test.

“In a lot of cases, the test results keep coming back positive... even when patients aren't transmitting the virus anymore,” he said.

“We are not clearing anyone to play infected. This is safe, there's no risk.”

Brazil has the second-highest number of infections and deaths in the pandemic, after the United States: more than 3.1 million and 103,000, respectively.

It nevertheless became the first South American country to resume professional football matches on June 18, with empty stands and a series of health protocols for clubs.

More than 160 players in the first division have tested positive for coronavirus so far.


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