London [UK], Mar 13 (Sputnik/ANI): Arsenal said its head coach, Mikel Arteta, had tested positive for coronavirus.
"Our London Colney training centre has been closed after head coach Mikel Arteta received a positive COVID-19 result this evening," the club said in a statement on late Thursday.
The team personnel, who had recent contact with Arteta, will self-isolate in line with the required procedures.
"We expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff, as well as a smaller number of people from our Hale End Academy which we have also temporarily closed as a precaution," Arsenal added.
The head coach expressed regret over the fact that he had been infected with the coronavirus.
"This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I am allowed," Arteta said, as quoted by the football club.
Arsenal's head of football Raul Sanllehi expressed full support for the head coach and the first-team squad.
"Mikel and the full first-team squad, players and staff, will be fully supported, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows. Obviously Mikel's full recovery is the priority now for us all," Sanllehi said.
The coronavirus disease was first detected in Wuhan in China's Hubei province, in late December, and has since spread worldwide.
More than 127,000 people have been infected with COVID-19, with over 4,700 having died and 68,000 recovered.
About 600 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the United Kingdom with eight fatalities, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.
On Wednesday, World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the COVID-19 outbreak could be characterised as a pandemic. (Sputnik/ANI)