Egypt’s sports minister Ashraf Sobhi has insisted that “all medical protocols are being followed” after Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah tested positive for coronavirus while on international duty. The 28-year-old will miss Egypt’s two African Cup of Nations qualifying games against Togo as a result of the diagnosis.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Egypt’s doctor Mohamed Abu Alala discussed the specifics of Salah’s positive test with Liverpool’s medical department on Friday.
Salah is said to be asymptomatic and will train on his own before an eventual return to Liverpool, with his club yet to confirm that the forward has tested positive.
Speaking to MBC Masr TV, Sobhi said: “Anyone who was in contact with Salah will undergo a PCR test and I want to reassure everyone that all the medical protocols are being followed.
“I met with Salah once at the start of the camp and another time during the event.
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“We followed the protocol very precisely during the event with Salah’s agent and Liverpool.
“We made sure to fulfill all of the club’s requests.”
The Egyptian FA released an official statement on their Facebook page on Friday announcing Salah’s positive test.
The statement read: “A second swab was carried out by Mohamed Salah, the national team star and Liverpool English club, and the result showed a positive case of the big star infected with the Coronavirus, and all the procedures are underway and following the necessary global medical protocol for the situation, with the knowledge of Dr. Mohamed Sultan, head of the medical committee Etihad and Dr. Mohamed Abu Alala, the national team doctor.
“The first swab came out positive, but the Egyptian Football Federation decided to do a second swab to confirm the injury, as the big star’s injury case received great attention from the Federation at all levels.
“The star of Egypt has high spirits and none of the usual symptoms of injury, while an isolation room and another room are equipped to be followed up medically, as the team doctor Dr. Mohamed Abu Alala communicates with Dr. [J]im Moxon Head of Liverpool medical staff for follow-up and coordination.”
The news is another major blow for Jurgen Klopp’s side, who are in the midst of a defensive injury crisis.
Virgil van Dijk is a long-term absentee at the back, having suffered an ACL injury in the Merseyside derby clash with Everton.
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Joe Gomez will also miss a significant chunk of the season after suffering an injury while on England duty which forced him to undergo knee surgery.
Joel Matip has also struggled with fitness problems, while makeshift centre-back Fabinho is recovering from a hamstring injury.
As a result, the inexperienced Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips will have to continue filling in.
Klopp could look to bring in some cover in the January transfer window and Liverpool have been linked with a number of options already, including Ozan Kabak and Ruben Semedo.
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