SOUTH AFRICA-based Warriors forward Kuda Mahachi has become the first Zimbabwean footballer to test positive for the novel coronavirus.

Mahachi had the tests on Thursday after receiving a late call from the Warriors technical team ahead of the team’s departure for the international friendly match against Malawi at the weekend.

No official communication had been sent out by the weekend, but The Herald sources claimed the diminutive midfielder was notified of his status and urged to follow the protocols.

Mahachi was supposed to travel together with left-back Divine Lunga after the Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic had called for more reinforcements following the unavailability of several foreign-based players that he had called in the initial squad.

Zambian-based trio of Denis Dauda, Tafadzwa Rusike and Evans Katema also got the invitation at the 11th hour and arrived on time before Saturday’s departure for Malawi aboard a chartered flight.

But Mahachi could not be cleared to board the plane in South Africa after failing to satisfy the Covid-19 protocols.

“It hasn’t been officially communicated yet, but I can confirm that Kuda was supposed to be with the team in Malawi.

“He was actually looking forward to playing for Zimbabwe again in this international friendly but he was not able to leave South Africa because of his Covid-19 results,” said the source.

Mahachi was expected to begin his mandatory quarantine and will now miss the opening round of the South Africa DStv Premiership which begins later this month.

The laboratory report obtained by our sister paper, The Chronicle, stated that Mahachi immediately went into quarantine.

“A positive test result for Covid-19 indicates that RNA from Sars-CoV-2 was detected in the sample. The patient is considered to be infected and is presumed to be contagious. Individuals diagnosed with Covid-19 not requiring hospitalisation must self-isolate.

“After a 10-day period of home isolation, a symptomatic people are regarded as no longer infectious. Provided a person’s fever has resolved and their symptoms have improved, those with mild disease may de-isolate 14 days after symptoms onset, while those with severe disease may de-isolate 14 days after achieving clinical stability.

“A follow-up test is not required as remnant RNA can be detected for up to six weeks after clinical recovery,” read the player’s laboratory report.

Mahachi is not the first player at Supersport to contract the disease. The club reported five other cases during the preparations for restart of the previous season, which was disrupted by the outbreak of the disease.

SuperSport are home to Zimbabweans George Chigova, Evans Rusike, Onismor Bhasera and coach Kaitano Tembo.

Mahachi’s positive result comes in the wake of some reckless behaviour by some Warriors players last week. England-based midfielder Marvelous Nakamba had a video circulated with socialite Genius Kadungure all over him. Nakamba arrived in Zimbabwe and was seen mixing and mingling with the socialite without wearing a mask with Kadungure hinting about going to a party afterwards.

Elsewhere, Italian Serie A giants Inter Milan have confirmed winger Ashley Young has tested positive for coronavirus.

The Serie A side confirmed the former Manchester United star is already in quarantine following COVID-19 tests carried out on Saturday at the club’s Appiano Gentile training ground.

Young has played a part in all three Italian top-flight games so far this season for Antonio Conte’s men and becomes the sixth player from the club to have contracted the virus in recent weeks. There is now growing fear in Italy that the derby with AC Milan — that is scheduled for Saturday — may now not be played.

Conte’s men are also scheduled to begin their Champions League campaign against Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach next week on Wednesday.

Young’s team-mate Alessandro Bastoni tested positive for Covid-19 earlier in the week amid growing fear of rising cases in Serie A.

Bastoni was then joined by Milan Skriniar — a target for Tottenham in the summer transfer window — after the Slovakian Football Association confirmed his positive test on the eve of their victory on penalties against the Republic of Ireland in their Euro 2020 play-off semi-final on Thursday.

A day later, the club confirmed Belgium midfielder Radja Nainggolan, goalkeeper Ionut Radu and Italy midfielder Roberto Gagliardini had also contracted coronavirus. And should the Milan derby not go ahead it will cause further chaos to a league that is already dealing with cancelled matches. Juventus’ game against rivals Napoli did not go ahead after Gennaro Gattuso’s men were prevented from travelling to Turin after first-team members Elif Elmas and Piotr Zielinski tested positive.