One day in, Copa America amasses 41 coronavirus cases

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Bolivian player getting tested for the coronavirus. Photo: Conmebol

When President Jair Bolsonaro decided to bring the 2021 Copa America football tournament to Brazil, experts warned of the health risks of welcoming nine foreign delegations to the country, while the government ensured that health protocols would prevent outbreaks from happening. The tournament began on Sunday and by Monday authorities had already confirmed 41 positive coronavirus tests among participants.

The Brazilian Health Ministry did not confirm whether health protocols will be changed.

At least four national teams — Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, and Bolivia — voiced fears of contamination, but Brazil’s Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga belittled the situation. “If we didn’t have the possibility of positive cases, we wouldn’t have strict protocols,” he said.

In the tournament’s opening game between Brazil and Venezuela, the visiting side were left without eight players due to Covid-19. Brazil won the match 3-0.