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Juventus' Daniele Rugani Responds After Positive Coronavirus Test: 'I'm Fine'

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 12, 2020

TURIN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 26: Daniele Rugani of Juventus gestures during the UEFA Champions League group D match between Juventus and Atletico Madrid at Juventus Arena on November 26, 2019 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Juventus defender Daniele Rugani has said he's "fine" after testing positive for the coronavirus, encouraging the public to "respect the rules" in staving off the respiratory illness.

The Bianconeri released a statement on Wednesday via their official website confirming Rugani had been diagnosed with COVID-19, though it specified the player was "currently asymptomatic."

Rugani, 25, wrote on Twitter (h/t Omnisport, via Yahoo): "You will have read the news and that's why I want to reassure all those who are worrying about me, I'm fine. I urge everyone to respect the rules, because this virus makes no distinctions! Let's do it for ourselves, for our loved ones and for those around us #thankyou."

CNN reported United States President Donald Trump has imposed a 30-day travel ban, beginning Friday, from 26 European countries—including Italy, the worst-affected area on the continent so far.

Italy's Civil Protection Agency said the total number of recorded cases in the country had increased to 12,462 as of Wednesday evening. The increase of 2,313 cases was "the biggest recorded jump since the outbreak began," though that didn't include full data from Lombardy, described as "the worst-hit region" by CNN.

Rugani has made seven appearances in all competitions this season but has been an unused substitute on 28 occasions, including Sunday's 2-0 win over rivals Inter Milan in a behind-closed-doors match:

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Usher Komugisha @UsherKomugisha

Daniele Rugani has tested positive for corona virus. Quick recovery to him. Second photo was taken on Sunday just after Juventus beat Inter Milan 2-0. Entire staff, management and players of both teams could be infected as well. #COVID19 https://t.co/zEAgT6g8A5

The prime minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, confirmed on Monday that Serie A, along with all other sporting competitions, would be suspended until at least April 3, per Football Italia.

All shops in Italy except pharmacies and food stores have closed in an effort to limit the spread of the illness.

Fixtures in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League have also been played behind closed doors or postponed already.

AS Roma announced that their Europa League round-of-16 first leg away to Sevilla would not take place as planned on Thursday after their plane was refused permission to land in Spain:

AS Roma English @ASRomaEN

🔴Breaking news: #ASRoma will not travel to Spain for the @EuropaLeague match against @SevillaFC_ENG after the plane from Italy was not authorised to land in Spain. More details from UEFA soon. https://t.co/vnVmJLkeRC

Rory Smith of the New York Times expressed doubt as to whether this season's European tournaments would conclude:

Rory Smith @RorySmith

Juventus and now Inter go into isolation after Daniele Rugani tests positive for Covid-19. This isn't an important element of a public health emergency but genuinely hard to see how either the CL or the EL get completed at this point.

The World Health Organisation has said more than 800 people in Italy have died as a result of COVID-19 as of Wednesday.

The WHO (h/t BBC News) also classified the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic on Wednesday.

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