May 7, 2020 / 12:50 PM / 21 days ago

Three Flamengo players test positive for COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Club World Cup - Semi Final - Flamengo v Al Hilal - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar - December 17, 2019 General view as the Flamengo players line up before the match REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari/File Photo

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Three first-team players at Brazilian champions Flamengo have tested positive for the new coronavirus, along with 35 other people linked to the club, the Rio de Janeiro side said.

The club carried out 293 tests on players, officials and their families between April 30 and May 3.

“For those that tested positive, all of them asymptomatic, the measures taken will be isolation and quarantine, daily monitoring with questions about their vital signs and evolution,” the club said in a statement released late on Wednesday.

The players whose family members tested positive will also have to enter quarantine, it added.

Flamengo did not name the players who tested positive but the Copa Libertadores champions have the most star-studded squad in South American football, with names such as Gabriel Barbosa, Filipe Luis, Diego Alves and Rafinha.

The club’s long-time masseur, 68-year old Jorginho, died from the disease last week.

Flamengo last played on March 14, shortly before the Rio state championship was halted because of the pandemic.

The Rio football federation has granted permission for clubs to begin training again but there is no date set for a resumption of games.

Brazil has so far reported 125,218 COVID-19 cases, with 8,536 fatalities, 615 announced on Wednesday alone, a record high.

Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier in Rio de Janeiro, writing by Andrew Downie in London; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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