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(Credit: Harald Krichel)


Idris Elba tests positive for coronavirus

Actor Idris Elba has tested positive for coronavirus.

The 47-year-old actor confirmed on Monday that he has contracted the virus and is currently in self-isolation as he attempts to recover.

“This morning I tested positive for COVID-19,” he wrote. “I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus.”

Elba, confirming the news via social media, added: “I got tested because I realised I was exposed to someone who had also tested positive. Look, this is serious,” while appearing in a video alongside his wife, Sabrina. “Now is the time to really think about social distancing, washing your hands,” he added.

Elba continued: “Transparency is probably the best thing for this right now, if you’re feeling ill and you. feel like you should be tested or you have been exposed then do something about it. It’s really important. We live in a divided world right now—we can all feel it. It’s been bullshit but now is the time for solidarity, now is the time for thinking about each other.”

“Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing.”

The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease was first officially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. As of 16 March, more than 173,000 cases of COVID-19 have been officially confirmed but the actual number is thought to be much higher due to substantial under-reporting of cases.

With more than 6,600 people having died from the virus, COVID-19 has now spread into more than 150 other countries—including mainland Europe, South America and North America. Given the exponential growth in cases in countries like Italy and Spain, the WHO have now stated that Europe was the current centre of the pandemic.

Elba becomes the latest high-profile actor to contract the virus after it was previously announced that both Tom Hanks and former James Bond actress Olga Kurylenko confirmed their situation.

Kurylenko, the actress best recognised for her appearance in James Bond film Quantum of Solace, also confirmed her illness on Monday. The Ukrainian-French actress, who gained international recognition for her with the role as Camille Montes in the 22nd Bond film, revealed the news in a post on social media while urging her followers to take the virus seriously.

“Locked up at home after having tested positive for Coronavirus,” Kurylenko wrote in a post on Instagram with an accompanying image of her self-isolation.

She added: “I’ve actually been ill for almost a week now. Fever and fatigue are my main symptoms. Take care of yourself and do take this seriously!”

In other coronavirus related news, New York City is taking more drastic measures in a bid to tackle the current coronavirus pandemic and will close all cinemas and music venues.

As President Donald Trump imposes a travel ban on European countries, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced his intentions to close down major areas. The news has come after the United States confirmed 3,802 cases of coronavirus with a large percentage being in the state of New York.

“Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago,” de Blasio said in a post on social media. “We are taking a series of actions that we never would have taken otherwise in an effort to save the lives of loved ones and our neighbours. Now it is time to take yet another drastic step.”

De Blasio added: “Tomorrow, I will sign an Executive Order limiting restaurants, bars and cafes to food take-out and delivery. Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues must all close. The order will go into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 9:00 AM.”

“This is not a decision I make lightly. These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality. We will come through this, but until we do, we must make whatever sacrifices necessary to help our fellow New Yorkers.”