Egyptian league clubs switch to rapid COVID-19 test instead of PCR

Ahram Online , Thursday 27 Aug 2020

The EFA decided to switch from PCR tests to rapid blood tests due to the costs involved

Zamalek's Mostafa Mohamed Ahmed Abdalla in action with Al Ahly's Junior Ajayi during the Cairo derby on 22 August (Photo: Reuters)

Ahly players underwent rapid COVID-19 tests on Thursday on the instructions of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA), which decided earlier this week to replace the current PCR test with an antibody blood test.

The EFA said in July while listing the preventive measures required on restarting the domestic league that PCR tests would be mandatory for all players before games, stressing that the football governing body would run and bear the costs of the tests.

However, due to the elevated cost, the EFA has instructed clubs to switch to the rapid test.

"Players and the team's technical staff underwent rapid COVID-19 testing on Thursday as an alternative to the usual PCR test," read a statement on Ahly's official website on Thursday.

"It comes in accordance with the EFA medical protocol that ordered all league players to undergo tests 48 hours before any game,” the statement added.

Ahly, who defeated Gouna 1-0 on Wednesday, will face Masry on Saturday.

Around 70 cases have been discovered Egyptian several clubs, although none of those infected had more than mild symptoms.

El-Entag El-Harby and Masry were the most affected sides in the Egyptian league, with 19 confirmed cases at the military club and 21 cases at the coastal side.  

The domestic league returned to life on 6 August after around five months of suspension due to the pandemic.  

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