A former Brazilian football star urged fans Wednesday to stay home as part of the global fight against the novel coronavirus.
“The best thing to do now is to stay home as recommended by the world health authorities and governments,” Spanish La Liga club Real Valladolid’s chairman Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima — commonly known as Ronaldo — said on social media.
Ronaldo, 43, said on the Spanish club’s Twitter account that people should exercise lots of patience and responsibility to minimize the effects of the coronavirus outbreak as the world is going through a difficult time.
He said he hopes the world can beat the coronavirus in the shortest possible time.
“Thank you and stay home. See you soon,” he added.
The 1994 and 2002 FIFA World Cup winner owns a 72.7% stake in Real Valladolid.
He was one of the legendary football figures in the 1990s and 2000s, playing for PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Italian archrivals Inter Milan and AC Milan as well as the Brazilian national team.
Ronaldo scored 62 goals in 98 international appearances for Brazil.
After first appearing in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, the virus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 176 countries and regions.
The global death toll from the virus has hit 46,413 with 926,095 confirmed cases and 193,031 recoveries, according to U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
The coronavirus attacks the respiratory tract with the potential to cause pneumonia and death.
Despite its severity, most people experience mild symptoms and recover, but the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions are particularly vulnerable.