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Mohamed Salah has mild symptoms after testing positive for coronavirus

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Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has mild symptoms after testing positive for the coronavirus and is due to spend at least the next week self-isolating in Egypt, the national team doctor said Saturday.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Mohamed Abou Elela said Salah’s attendance at his brother’s wedding might have contributed to him contracting COVID-19 but he cannot be certain.

Salah’s positive tests were returned on Friday on the eve of Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Togo. He’s now set to miss Liverpool’s first game after the international break against Leicester in the Premier League next Sunday.

Abou Elela, who spoke Friday and Saturday with the Liverpool team doctor, said Salah has to isolate for seven days under Egyptian health guidelines.

‘He’s a mild case – he doesn’t have severe symptoms,’ Abou Elela told the AP in a video call from Cairo. ‘He has to self-isolate in Egypt until his test returns negative and then, of course, he can travel back.’

Abou Elela did not provide further details of Salah’s condition.

The 28-year-old Salah tested positive after being pictured – sometimes without a face covering – dancing among dozens of people at his brother’s wedding in Cairo earlier this week.

‘I cannot deny,’ Abou Elela responded when asked if Salah could have been infected at the wedding with little social distancing. ‘No one knows because … unfortunately, we still don’t know everything about the virus. My answer is maybe yes, maybe no.’

Salah, who also attended an awarded ceremony in Cairo on Wednesday held in his honour by the Egyptian FA.

Egypt is not suffering as badly as Britain from the pandemic. While Egypt reported 244 new coronavirus cases and 12 deaths in Friday’s daily update, Britain on Saturday reported another 26,860 cases and 462 COVID-19-related deaths.

As the first Egyptian player to become a Premier League champion, Salah has been catapulted to global stardom and is a figurehead for his homeland beyond the field.

Abou Elela has been contacted by government ministers to check on Salah’s condition.

‘The concerns (are) from the Egyptian authorities because Mo for Egypt is special,’ Abou Elela said. ‘Everyone here wants to help and … to do whatever the whole country can do.’

In a short statement released on Twitter on Friday the Egyptian FA revealed Salah’s positive test, saying: ‘The medical swab conducted on the mission of our first national football team showed that our international player, Mohamed Salah, the star of Liverpool, was infected with coronavirus, after his test came positive, although he does not suffer from any symptoms.

‘Meanwhile the other members of the team were negative.’

The statement was later deleted and replaced with information that three players from Egypt had in fact tested positive for coronavirus – without naming Salah – as well as some members of Saturday’s opposition Togo and second tests will be carried out before the clash.

The Egyptian FA later confirmed that Salah had returned a second positive test.

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