Copa America COVID-19 cases on the rise

Bolivia have confirmed one of their players, Jaume Cuellar (l), has contracted the coronavirus.
Bolivia have confirmed one of their players, Jaume Cuellar (l), has contracted the coronavirus.

The number of COVID-19 cases at Copa America has risen from 53 to 65, with at least 19 players picking up the virus.

The South American soccer body said on Thursday that 19 of the cases were players on the 10-tournament teams, with the remaining 46 staffers and officials.

The total number of known infections was up by 12 from Wednesday.

Brazil stepped in late as an emergency host despite the country having the second highest number of recorded deaths from the coronavirus in the world, more than 493,000.

Also on Thursday, the Bolivian Football Association said two players tested positive, defender Oscar Ribera and forward Jaume Cuellar.

Bolivian striker Marcelo Martins, who used his Instagram account to criticise CONMEBOL for the COVID-19 cases, backtracked in a statement.

"Regrettably my concern for my situation contracting COVID-19, which stopped me from playing with my beloved national team at their first match at Copa America ... was incorrectly interpreted by those who manage my public communications," Martins wrote.

Chile's team also said one of their members diagnosed with the virus was without symptoms, and isolated, but did not provide more details.

Half of the teams playing at Copa America have reported COVID-19 cases - Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Chile.

Australian Associated Press