Balzan FC have put their first-team squad in isolation after one of their players tested positive for COVID-19, the Times of Malta can confirm.
Sources close to the Premier League club said that the player tested positive last weekend and the whole first-team squad has been put into isolation while awaiting to undergo swab tests.
Balzan are currently undergoing their pre-season preparations under the charge of coach Mark Miller and this case certainly has thrown their plans in a bit of a turmoil, particularly with Covid-19 cases in Malta showing a significant rise in the last few days.
A club source told the Times of Malta that the club’s protocol is to follow the authorities guidelines.
He said that the advice that they were given was to ensure all members of the squad self-isolate until Wednesday and in the meantime, everyone undergoes a swab test.
Should any member of the squad show any symptoms he will take the test immediately, even though at the moment it’s quite difficult to get a test given the high demands.
Balzan have issued a statement to confirm the news.
“Balzan FC confirms that one of our players has tested positive for Covid-19. The player is in perfect health and is complying with the sanitary isolation protocol at home, as required by the Health Authorities,” the Premier League club said.
“The club further wishes to confirm that it is in contact with all the relevant authorities and is putting all the required precautionary measures in place. This will include a temporary halt to squad training, until all players and officials are tested and cleared for the virus.”
Although this is the first case of a Premier League player to have tested positive, but the Times of Malta can confirm that a First Division club has also discovered a first case over the weekend.
In this case, it is not a player who tested positive but a member of the medical staff.
The First Division club has isolated five players who worked with the member of the medical staff recently and they too have under went a swab test to check if they have the Covid-19 virus.
With cases of Covid-19 now also starting to feature in a number of clubs, it certainly puts a question mark on whether the 2020-21 season will get underway on schedule.
One has to see whether clubs will be ready to put their players at risk with cases in a number of clubs.
Last March, the clubs put a lot of pressure on the MFA to halt the National Leagues even though none of them had recorded a case of COVID-19 so it looks like the new season, which is due to start in September, maybe at risk if more cases emerge.