• British actor Idris Elba. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
"Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing. Now is the time for solidarity and thinking about each other."
SBS staff writers

17 Mar 2020 - 9:56 AM  UPDATED 17 Mar 2020 - 2:20 PM

Idris Elba is the latest celebrity to reveal he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is in isolation. 


"This morning I tested positive for Covid 19," the actor tweeted. "I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing. No panic."

"It sucks," Elba told fans in a video he posted to social media

"I didn't have any symptoms. I got tested because I realized I was exposed to someone who had also tested positive. I found out last Friday that they were tested positive. I quarantined myself and got a test immediately and got the results back today."

The British actor urged fans to take the virus seriously and enforce measures like social distancing and washing hands.

"This is serious.  So now is the real time to be really vigilant about washing your hands and keeping your distance, OK?" Beyond that, there are people out there who aren't showing symptoms and that can easily spread it, OK?

Elba said he had told friends, family and and colleagues about testing positive. 

"Transparency is probably the best thing for this right now. If you're feeling ill or you feel like you should be tested or you've been exposed, then do something about it, alright?" he also said. "It's really important." 

"We live in a divided world. We can all feel it. It's been bulls***. Now is the time for solidarity and thinking about each other. There are people who have lost people that they love, and people who don't even have it and have lost their livelihood. Now is the time for solidarity." 

"I just wanted to share my news with you guys, and I will keep you updated. So far we are feeling ok. Stay positive and don't freak out. "

Elba joins celebrities Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson who have also have tested positive. Hanks and Wilson contracted the virus while filming in Australia. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, only people who have recently travelled from overseas or have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case and experienced symptoms within 14 days are advised to be tested.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor, don’t visit, or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

Coronavirus symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia, according to the Federal Government's website, and can include a fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.

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