The English Premier League fourth round of coronavirus test carried out on Thursday and Friday returned no positive result from the 1,130 members of the league that were tested. This is the first round of test since the clubs in the league were given the go-ahead to commence contact training. This round of tests is coming less than three weeks to the restart of the disrupted 2019-2020 season.
Recall that on the road to voting June 17 as a likely date when the Premier League will restart, all the 20 clubs in the league which was halted on March 13, were subjected to mass coronavirus testing.
In the first round of the mass testing, 6 people were confirmed positive, yet, training in small groups was allowed to go on. This subsequently brought about agitation amidst some of the players like Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and Watford Captain, Troy Deeney, who believed that it was not safe enough for the players to return to training amid the dreaded coronavirus. They were later prevailed upon to return to training.
Prior to that, another round of coronavirus test was carried out among the members of the league. The test returned two positive results which heated up the argument of whether it was safe for the players to resume any form of training. In the midst of the argument, another round of coronavirus test was conducted and four people were confirmed positive, bringing the total number in the first three rounds of coronavirus test to 12.
At this point, critics felt it was getting obvious that the Premier League shouldn’t resume a contact sport like football under such circumstances of having reoccurring numbers of people who tested positive for the virus. Yet the Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said coronavirus test results from the first three rounds had been “reassuring” and the number of positive cases was at an anticipated level. So, everything continued to go on as planned for the league.
A Premier League statement read: “The Premier League can today confirm that on Thursday 28 May and Friday 29 May 1130 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, zero have tested positive.
“The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency. No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public after each round of testing.”
The result of this fourth round of test will be a morale booster to those who were not sure of the whole process. Now that there are no new cases besides the old cases who are self-isolating, the Premier League will focus more on other aspects that can make the June 17 proposed date for the restart of the season a reality.
Coronavirus test returns 17 positives in Championship and League Two
Meanwhile, in the Championship and League Two level of club football in the United Kingdom, the latest round of coronavirus test returned 17 positive results – ten positive from eight clubs in Championship while 7 positive results from three clubs in League Two.
A statement from the English Football League says: “Those players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate in line with the guidelines provided by the EFL and only those who have tested negative will be permitted to enter training ground facilities.
“The EFL will continue to make regular and relevant announcements as appropriate in respect of the testing programme to support competition integrity and transparency. No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League.”