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Players and staff of Croatian First Division clubs test negative for COVID-19
photo by: Siniša Sović /NK Varaždin-FAS


First cycle of testing completed

Players and staff of
Croatian First
Division clubs test
negative for COVID-19

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The results of genetic testing for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 done on 350 players and essential staff members of Croatian First Division clubs have found no cases of COVID-19 among the population.

Phase 2 of testing will take place this week and will include RT-qPCR tests, as well as serology tests for specific IgA and IgB antibodies, which can confirm whether a person has previously been infected with the novel coronavirus.

The two-phase testing model used by HNS was recently presented to UEFA and FIFA, and the project has been published in The Journal of Global Health. The model consists of two consecutive deep nasal swab tests done five days apart in order to account for the five-day latency period between contact with the virus and production of new virus particles and thus minimize the chance of obtaining false-negative test results.

The project was developed by the HNS Medical Committee and its president Dragan Primorac, MD, PhD in collaboration with the “Dr. Andrija Štampar” Teaching Public Health Institute, St. Catherine Hospital, the International Society for Applied Biological Sciences, and the Genos Laboratory. The logistics of conducting the testing were organized by the HNS Committee for the COVID-19 Pandemic, which consists of representatives from the HNS Medical Committee, the Infectious Diseases Clinic in Zagreb, the National Public Health Institute, and the “Dr. Andrija Štampar” Teaching Public Health Institute.

The Croatian Football Federation is especially grateful for the excellent cooperation with clubs, players, and staff members, all of whom have behaved in a responsible and exemplary manner during the testing process. HNS continues to respect all security measures proposed by the National Civil Protection Council of the Republic of Croatia.

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