Former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini is the latest footballer to have contracted coronavirus.
The 32-year-old currently plays in the Chinese Super League for Shandong Luneng and he tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday.
Fellaini undertook a routine screening on arrival at the city of Jinan. He is now in isolation at Jinan hospital, which specialises in infectious diseases.
According to Shandong Luneng’s website, the Belgium midfielder is showing no symptoms of the coronavirus, such as a fever or cough.
Fellaini posted a picture of himself on Twitter posing with thumbs up on Sunday, saying: ‘Dear friends, I have been tested for coronavirus and my test result is positive. Thanks to the fans, medical staff and the club for their care and attention. I will follow the treatment and hope to return to the game as soon as possible. Please everyone stay safe.’
United sent out a tweet to Fellaini, saying: ‘Get well soon, stay strong.’
CSL players were sent abroad en masse to escape the coronavirus after its outbreak in China late last year. But given the recent dramatic reduction in reported new Covid-19 cases in China, players are starting to return to the country.
Fellaini was due to spend 14 days in quarantine anyway, as are all people entering the country.
Having spent several weeks in Dubai, where his team had been training, he was allowed to leave on February 20. He then travelled to Belgium, Morocco and the Maldives.
This week he travelled from Singapore to Shanghai Pudong International Airport before taking a taxi to the city’s Hongqiao Railway Station, from where he took a high-speed train to Jinan, according to local health authorities.
Fellaini, who spent 11 years playing in England, representing both Everton and United, is reportedly the only Chinese Super League player to have contracted the illness.
A statement on Fellaini from Shandong Luneng read: ‘The club will do its best to protect everyone while helping the treatment and rehabilitation of its player. We wish him a quick recovery. Fellaini expressed his gratitude to his concerned fans and friends through the club. He believes he will get well soon and return stronger.’
The CSL is currently suspended due to the pandemic, as are most other leagues around the world. There had been hope, however, that is would resume in the next month.
Covid-19 originated in China but the country has seen a dramatic decrease in cases over the past month, with just one new case reported in the last four days. Europe is now classed as the epicentre of the pandemic, and Italy is the worst-hit country in the world.
Fellaini left United for Shandong in 2019 in a £10.4million deal.
He signed an eye-watering £235,000-a-week deal with the CSL side and enjoyed a stellar first campaign as he netted 13 times in all competitions.
The coronavirus crisis across the globe has worsened in recent weeks and has already had a huge affect on football with a large number of players, managers and staff catching the disease.
On Saturday, former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz tragically lost his battle with the virus while Juventus star Paulo Dybala confirmed he and his partner had tested positive for coronavirus.