ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN – JANUARY 11, 2018: JHL managing director Alexei Morozov speaks ahead of the 2018 Junior Hockey League Challenge Cup ice hockey match between Team East and Team West at Barys Arena as part of the 2018 Week of Hockey Stars in Astana. Sergei Bobylev/TASS Êàçàõñòàí. Àñòàíà. 11 ÿíâàðÿ 2018. Óïðàâëÿþùèé äèðåêòîð ÌÕË Àëåêñåé Ìîðîçîâ ïåðåä íà÷àëîì ìàò÷à Êóáêà âûçîâà Ìîëîäåæíîé õîêêåéíîé ëèãè ìåæäó êîìàíäàìè Âîñòîê è Çàïàä â ðàìêàõ Íåäåëè çâåçä ÊÕË. Ñåðãåé Áîáûëåâ/ÒÀÑÑ

MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. Six players from the clubs of the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the league’s press service reported on Monday citing KHL President Alexei Morozov as saying.

“We have stated previously that two players from Severstal hockey club tested positive for COVID-19,” Morozov said. “One of the players from Spartak HC and three players from Torpedo HC also tested positive for the novel coronavirus.”

“A player from Amur HC is currently hospitalized with a double pneumonia, while two more players, who shared a hotel room with him, were quarantined,” he continued. “They had no contacts with the rest of the club’s players.”

“I would like to point out that the tests for the novel coronavirus of the three players at the issue returned negative results,” Morozov added.

In late May, the KHL announced that it had informed all of the league’s participating clubs that September 2 was the provisionally set date to launch the next 2020/2021 season.

The league’s press office said in its statement at that time that the starting date of the next season would first of all depend on the nationwide state requirements in regard to the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus and on the gradual lift of restrictions, which are in force in the regions across Russia as well as in the countries, from which many foreign KHL players come from.

The Kontinental Hockey League was founded in Russia in 2008 and currently lists 24 professional ice hockey clubs from Russia, Belarus, China, Finland, Kazakhstan and Latvia.

International experts deem the KHL as the premier ice hockey league in Europe and Asia ranking it as the world’s second most important right on the heels of the US-based NHL (National Hockey League).

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus – named COVID-19 by the WHO – have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 13,097,550 people have been infected worldwide and more than 572,590 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 7,625,400 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

To date, 733,699 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 504,021 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 11,439 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.

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