Valencia on Monday confirmed that 35 per cent of players and the staff members have tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus. According to a statement released, the Spanish club have said the players’ last trip to Milan for their UEFA Champions League match caused the outbreak.

“Despite the strict measures adopted by the club after their UEFA Champions League game against Atalanta on February 19th in Milan -an area confirmed as ‘high risk’ by the Italian authorities days afterwards-, which included maintaining a distance between the squad and club employees/the general public, these latest results show that the exposure inherent to such matches has caused a positive test rate of around 35%,” the statement said.

“We also wish to express our confidence in our healthcare system and the recommendations by the Ministry of Health for those cases of coronavirus infection being treated with isolation,” it added.

The latest cases come after the club had informed on Sunday five players, including defender Ezequiel Garay, and staff were tested positive for the COVID-19.

“Valencia CF inform that five positive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus have been detected amongst first-team staff and players. All of these persons are now at home, in good health and obeying self-isolation measures,” they announced.

The deadly coronavirus, which has killed over 7,000 people and affected more than 1,80,000, has severely affected the sporting calendars as well. In football, all the top five European leagues, including the La Liga in Spain have been postponed till further notice.

The UEFA last week postponed all the Champions League and Europa League games that were scheduled to be played on March 17 and 18 till further notice.

A Spanish football coach Francisco Garcia, who worked as Malaga-based club Atletico Portada Alta’s youth team manager, died from coronavirus. He was 21.

(With IANS inputs)