Marouane Fellaini has tested positive for coronavirus in the Chinese province of Jinan, according to a local health department.
The former Everton and Manchester United player is currently lining up for Chinese Super League (CSL) side Shandong Luneng and arrived by train in Jinan on March 20 when the positive test was taken.
Fellaini, 32, is the first CSL player to test positive for coronavirus to date, with that competition, like most around the world, currently suspended indefinitely, reportsgoal.com.
Taking to Twitter on Sunday morning, the Belgian said: “Dear friends, I have been tested for coronavirus and my test result is positive.
“Thanks to the fans, medical staff and the club for their care and attention. I will follow the treatment and hope to return to the game as soon as possible. Please everyone stay safe.”
While Covid-19 originated from China, reports from the country have suggested a dramatic decrease in diagnosed cases over the past month as things deteriorate elsewhere around the world.
Fellaini moved to Shandong in 2019 and enjoyed a successful first season with the club as he scored 13 goals in all competitions as his side finished fifth in the league.
As the coronavirus gets worse around the globe, football has been unable to escape its grasp with a number of players, managers and staff testing positive.
On Saturday, former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz sadly passed away after being hospitalised with the condition. While Juventus star Paulo Dybala joined a growing list of players from the club to test positive.
“Hi everyone, I just wanted to inform you that we have received the results for the Covid-19 test and both Oriana and I have tested positive,” Dybala posted on Twitter.
“Luckily we are in perfect condition. Thanks for your messages.”
Dybala was the third Juventus player to test positive for the coronavirus after Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi.
Italy is one of the countries worst affected by the outbreak, prompting the government to ban public gatherings and place tight restrictions on movement and travel.
With Serie A currently suspended until April, Romamidfielder Javier Pastore has suggested he can’t see the season actually being able to finish as things stand.
“We’ll see if we play again from this season or the next. To be honest, I think it’ll be impossible to finish the season, as we need at least 20-30 days of training to be ready,” the Argentina international told Radio Impacto.
“All the clubs will lose money, but I think it’s pretty much impossible to resume where we left off. It would mean ending later and later, so having to move the start of the next campaign.
“But we can’t do that, because next summer there’s the Euros, the Copa America, etc.”