Australian pro soccer player tests positive for coronavirus

SYDNEY (AP) – An A-League footballer became the first Australian professional footballer to test positive for the new coronavirus.

The unnamed player, who plays for Newcastle Jets in the state of New South Wales, was tested on Friday as a precaution before an international flight. He played in the last A-League games against Brisbane and Melbourne City.

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Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna said the player was asymptomatic and in good health.

"He was fine, without any symptoms," McKinna told the Australian Associated Press. "He gave a positive result … because we found that the player and his family are isolated and the rest of the team does not need to be isolated.

"Obviously, we will be monitoring the health of the players. It is definitely real."

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The player is now in quarantine and League A is suspended at least until April 22.

"Our team of players is closely monitoring their health and will be isolated if they experience any symptoms," the Jets said in a statement.

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The number of cases worldwide has reached half a million and the deaths have exceeded 24,000.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that go away in two to three weeks. For some, especially the elderly and people with existing health problems, it can cause more serious illnesses, including pneumonia and death.

So far, more than 120,000 people have recovered, according to the Johns Hopkins University count.

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