French-born soccer player Eliaquim Mangala is calling on fans to isolate themselves amid the coronavirus pandemic — after he tested positive for the contagious disease despite experiencing no symptoms.
Mangala, who plays for Spain’s Valencia club, revealed Sunday that he was one of at least five athletes and staffers with the virus, the BBC reported.
“I’m feeling good and I have no symptoms associated with the virus,” he wrote on Twitter. “However, I am confined to the house and separated from my family.”
Mangala’s teammate Ezequiel Garay has also tested positive, which may have prompted the whole team to be tested, the BBC reported.
The former Manchester City defender said his experience has shown him that anyone can be a carrier of the virus, even if they are not showing any of the symptoms associated with it — such as fever, a dry cough or trouble breathing.
“I learned that we can carry the virus without having symptoms, that’s why I recommend everyone to follow confinement measures and avoid contact with other people, as much as possible, even if you feel well,” he said.
He continued saying that if everyone respects these guidelines, then “together we will avoid propagation as much as possible and fight to avoid transmitting it to people.”
“Take care of yourself and your loved ones and respect the confinement instructions to avoid the spreading,” he wrote.
The virus — known officially as COVID-19 — has infected more than 7,700 people in Spain, prompting strict measures to limit citizens’ travel.
Across the world, the virus has spread to more than 164,000 people, causing at least 6,400 deaths, CNN reported.
Health officials have urged people across the world to maintain space between themselves and others — a practice known as social distancing — as at least 149 countries work to control the spread of the virus.