Idris Elba Says He’s Tested Positive for Coronavirus

March 16, 2020 Updated: April 2, 2020
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Actor Idris Elba confirmed Monday that he was diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

“This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus,” Elba, 47, wrote on Twitter.

He called on people to “stay home people and be pragmatic” and told his followers “I will keep you updated on how I’m doing.” Elba added, “No panic.”

The “Luther” actor said in an accompanying video that he received his positive test results for coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, on Monday morning. “It sucks,” Elba said, adding that his wife, Sabrina, has not yet been tested.

Elba said he was tested for the virus because he was exposed to a person who also tested positive for the virus. After he learned that detail, he went into self-quarantine starting Friday.

He said that now is a good time for people to practice social distancing, washing hands, and knowing that some people can spread the virus without symptoms.

People need to keep their distance and wash their hands, he said in the video.

“Now is the time for solidarity” and “thinking about each other,” Elba added. “This is real,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo
Tom Hanks, left, and Rita Wilson arrive at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Feb. 9, 2020. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Elba is perhaps the most famous actor other than Tom Hanks to have contracted the virus, which originated late last year in mainland China. Hanks said he contracted COVID-19 while filming a new movie in Australia, where he and his wife, Rita Wilson, are being quarantined.

In an Instagram post on Thursday, Hanks thanked the Queensland hospital medical staff for taking care of them.

“There are those for whom it could lead to a very serious illness,” wrote Hanks. “There are things we can all do to get through this by following the advice of experts and taking care of ourselves and each other, no?”