MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. Platon Zakharchuk, an assistant coach of the Russian football club Orenburg in charge of goalkeepers, has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, the press service of Orenburg FC announced on Friday.
Orenburg FC’s three players, namely Filip Rogic (a midfielder from Sweden), Ziga Skoflek (a midfielder from Slovenia), and Andrea Chukanov (an Italian-born Russian footballer), as well as Yevgeny Stukalov, an assistant coach for physical fitness, earlier tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.
This means that having recovered from the novel coronavirus, they developed immunity and are currently not carrying the contagious infection. All four of them are currently well and have no respiratory disease symptoms and are subject to additional testing once the quarantine is over.
The first positive case of the novel coronavirus among Russian footballers was reported on May 16, when Lokomotiv Moscow FC’s Peruvian striker Jefferson Farfan tested positive for COVID-19. Two more cases of the novel coronavirus were later found among Konstantin Pliyev from Rubin Kazan FC and Roman Yevgenyev from Dynamo Moscow FC.
Ural Yekaterinburg FC’s press service announced earlier in the day that club’s 36-year-old striker Pavel Pogrebnyak had been also diagnosed with COVID-19.
The RPL (Russian Premier League) Executive Board made a decision last Friday to resume matches of the Russian Football Championship on June 21. They had been postponed several times earlier this year due to the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus.
Prior to the RPL shutdown, the league’s clubs completed 22 out of 30 scheduled rounds of the championship. On April 1, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) recommended restarting national football tournaments.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 5,198,300 people have been infected worldwide and more than 334,600 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 2,000,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, a total of 326,448 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 99,825 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 3,249 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.