Former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chefs star Siphiwe Tshabalala has added his voice to the calls for South Africans to stay at home and respect the regulations put in by government.
South Africa is on day 25 of lockdown, which is due to end on April 30, but is likely to be phased out over some time.
It has provided a challenge for many people, but Tshabalala, one of the country’s most recognisable football stars, says it is vital that fans do the right thing to curb the spread of the disease.
“We are going through challenging times with the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “Our government has been working tirelessly from the start. Our health and safety is their number one priority. Let us respect the regulations.
“Coronavirus is dangerous, let’s stay home, wash our hands regularly with clean soap for at least 20 seconds and respect social distancing.
“I am staying home and I am challenging you to stay home also.”
Tshabalala was a star at Chiefs for 11 seasons before leaving for Turkish side Erzurumspor in 2018.
He was a massive part of the league success achieved under Stuart Baxter between 2013 and 2015.
The 35-year-old shot to global fame when he scored the opening goal of the 2010 FIFA World Cup with a thunderous strike against Mexico at the FNB Stadium, which was at the time dubbed a “goal for all of Africa”.
He had a stellar Bafana Bafana career, amassing 89 caps, behind only Aaron Mokoena (107) and Itumeleng Khune (91) on the all-time list.
South African fans should adhere to the guidelines laid out by the World Health Organisation in the bid to combat the coronavirus outbreak, which include:
Wash your hands frequently: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Maintain social distancing: Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth: Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene: Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early: Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.