In what initially began as a cause of concern for China, the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has now become a major threat to mankind. As of today, a staggering 1,98,965 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have emerged alongside the ever-increasing casualties which have now risen to 7,991 across the globe.
Ever since China reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan, last December, the fast-spreading virus has clawed its way across the country.
On 12th February, the infamous Hubei province sent ripples across the globe after reporting 14,840 new confirmed cases of Coronavirus in a single day. To sum up the state of affairs, China currently has 80,894 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,237 deaths.
While China continues to battle the deadly virus to contain its spread, Italy is the second nation in the list of worst-hit countries for Coronavirus. With a total of 31,506 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,503 deaths, Italy is currently under a complete lockdown as the ruling government continues to struggle in a bid to restore normalcy in the country.March 17, 2020
Despite the Italian government's preventive measures to control the pandemic spread, the Coronavirus cases and deaths continue to rise sharply, marking the highest number of cases and deaths outside China. In yet another case, involving a star footballer, Blaise Matuidi has tested positive for the novel COVID-19.
"Blaise Matuidi has undergone medical tests that have revealed his positivity to the Coronavirus-COVID-19. The player, as of Wednesday, March 11, has been in home isolation. He will continue to be monitored and will follow the same regime. He is well and is asymptomatic," Juventus, the Turin-based football club, said in an official statement.
Matuidi, the 2018 World Cup winner with France, has now become the second Juventus player to test positive for Coronavirus. Last week, Juventus defender Daniele Rugani had tested positive for the deadly virus, sending the entire squad into quarantine. On Tuesday, Spain's club Valencia CF confirmed that 35 per cent of its players and staff have tested positive for coronavirus.View this post on InstagramDans cette pÃ©riode difficile pour nous tous, je voulais simplement vous inviter Ã bien suivre les recommandations officielles et Ã prendre grand soin de vous et des vos proches ðð¾ Beaucoup de courage et un immense merci Ã toutes les infirmiÃ¨res, infirmiers et au corps mÃ©dical, force Ã vous. . In questo momento difficile per tutti noi, vorrei semplicemente invitarvi a seguire bene le indicazioni ufficiali e a prendervi cura di voi stessi e delle vostre famiglie ðð¾ un grande incoraggiamento e un infinito ringraziamento a tutto il personale medico e infermieristico. Siamo con voi!A post shared by (@blaisematuidiofficiel)
Matuidi had urged his fans to "take care" in a video post on Instagram last weekend. "It's a complicated time. At the beginning, I didn't really realise how serious this disease was and the danger, how fast the contagion spread here in Italy," he said in the video.
"In this difficult time for all of us, I just wanted to invite you to follow the official recommendations carefully and to take great care of yourself and your loved ones. A lot of encouragement and infinite thanks to all the medical and nursing staff. We are with you," he added.
In total, 13 Serie A players have officially been diagnosed with the illness including seven from Sampdoria and three at Fiorentina. Italian midfielder Zaccagni, 24, had already been in self-isolation as a precautionary measure after Verona played Sampdoria on 8th March.
"Zaccagni is doing well, in recent days, he has only had a few bouts of fever. The player, as well as the whole team, will extend their voluntary isolation at home until March 25, while continuing to be monitored," the eighth-placed Serie A club said.
Several leagues including La Liga, Premier League and Serie A have all been suspended owing to the Coronavirus outbreak.
As researchers in China and pharmaceutical companies including Abbvie, Inovio, and Gilead Sciences continue to work on developing Coronavirus vaccines and drugs, the World Health organisation (WHO) has declared Europe as the new 'epicentre' of the coronavirus pandemic.