Jamaican footballer Adrian Mariappa is among six persons in the English Premier League (EPL) who tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on Tuesday (May 19).
The senior defender, who plays for Watford, is one of three at the club who returned positive for COVID-19 as the EPL conducted its first wave of mass testing at the start of the week.
Speaking with the UK-based Telegraph Sports on Wednesday (May 20), Mariappa revealed he was asymptomatic and is now observing isolation protocols at home, away from his partner and children.
The confirmation has come as quite the shock for the 33-year-old father of four, as he failed to understand how he could have contracted the disease.
“Ever since I got my positive result back on Tuesday, I’ve been scratching my head to try to work out how I might have got coronavirus. It was a big surprise because I haven’t really left the house, apart from some exercise and the odd walk with the kids. I’ve mainly just been home-schooling and keeping fit,” he told Telegraph Sports.
While the Premier League has not revealed the identities of those who have tested positive, as it is a health issue, however, the affected clubs have been releasing statements.
Watford announced late Tuesday that three people, including one player, had tested positive for the virus and all three would self-isolate for seven days in line with league guidelines.
Burnley also confirmed in a statement earlier that day that assistant manager Ian Woan had tested positive.
“Ian is asymptomatic and is currently safe and well at home,” the club said.
The remaining two positive cases were found at a single, undisclosed club.
Some 748 people have been tested for the coronavirus across 19 clubs between Sunday (May 17) and Monday (May 18). The 20th club, also not identified, reportedly commenced testing yesterday.
Mariappa, in his Telegraph Sports interview, said that he feels as fit as ever but admits he worries about his family even as he remains socially distant.
“I live with three of my children, who are five, nine and 11, and my partner and, obviously, now I’m a bit worried about them,” he explained.
“If it wasn’t for the fact I had gone back to training and had this test, then I’d never have found out that I had the virus and I would just be getting on with things as normal. That’s obviously quite a strange thought,” Mariappa told Telegraph Sports.
The senior defender, who has at least 50 international caps for Jamaica, will be looking to get re-tested in a week’s time, in keeping with league stipulations.
There are growing concerns in the domestic circles in England, as organisers eye a June resumption of the Premier League, that more persons could become infected with the coronavirus.
The Premier League has been suspended since March as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and the UK remains one of the countries hardest-hit by the deadly pandemic.