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The COVID-19 coronavirus is an infectious respiratory illness and its outbreak has recently been declared a pandemic. Pandemic preparedness is key to stopping the spread of diseases and improving global health security. Join us and take action on this issue here.

Actor and Global Citizen Idris Elba announced that he has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. The actor shared his test results with his fans and followers in an emotional video on Twitter on Monday. 

In the video, Elba revealed that he has been in isolation since Friday after being exposed to someone infected with the virus.

The COVID-19 coronavirus is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread through human-to-human transmission and the current oubreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11.

Symptoms include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, the infection can cause severe acute respiratory syndrome, pneumonia, kidney failure, and death. 

So far, the virus has claimed the lives of 7,529 people, resulting in travel restriction, as well as school and business shutdowns across the globe.

After finding out he had been exposed, Elba immediately quarantined himself and got tested. While he tested positive for the coronavirus, the actor said he is asymptomatic and “feels okay.”

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Urging people to stay at home and practice social distancing, Elba warned fans to be vigilant about handwashing. 

Sabrina Dhowre Elba, his wife, appeared in the video with him, and while she has not yet been tested for the virus, he said that they are both “doing okay.”

“Look, we live in a divided world right now ... but now is a time for solidarity,” he said in the video. “Now is a time for thinking about each other. There are so many people whose lives have been affected.” 

A true Global Citizen, Elba has spent his career advocating for global health and human rights initiatives, joining the fight against ebola in 2014 and backing a London affordable housing project in 2011.

Elba is one of the latest celebrities to test positive for the coronavirus. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson revealed on March 11 that they had also been diagnosed with the virus while visiting Australia.

“Transparency is probably the best thing for this right now,” Elba said. “If you’re feeling ill or you feel like you should be tested or you’ve been exposed, then do something about it. It’s really important.” 

With cases on the rise, the WHO has called on countries to invest in public health measures to contain the spread of the virus. 

To support this goal, Global Citizen has launched a campaign to take action against the coronavirus pandemic. To learn more, visit our Together At Home campaign page.

You can see all of Global Citizen's COVID-19 coverage here.

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