Geneva, 23 March 2020: The international governing body of football, FIFA, and the World Health Organization (WHO) have launched a coronavirus (COVID-19) awareness campaign featuring world-renowned footballers, urging people across the world to follow five key steps to stop the spread of the disease.
The “Pass the message to kick out coronavirus” campaign promotes five key steps in line with WHO guidance, which focuses on hand washing, coughing etiquette, not touching your face, physical distance and staying home if feeling unwell.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and FIFA and its President Gianni Infantino virtually launched the campaign on Monday at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
“Be it through campaigns or funding, FIFA has stood up to the coronavirus, and I am delighted that world football is supporting WHO to kick out the coronavirus. I have no doubt with this type of support that together we will win.” said WHO chief.
“We need teamwork to combat the coronavirus,” said FIFA President.
“FIFA has teamed up with WHO because health comes first.” he added calling upon the football community worldwide to join the campaign to spread the message to kick out COVID-19.
Twenty-eight players are involved in the video campaign, which is being published in 13 languages.
The Five Steps
“It starts with your hands,” says Alisson Becker, WHO Goodwill ambassador for health promotion, Liverpool FC and Brazil goalkeeper, and The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper, 2019. “Please wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based solution.”
Such frequent washing with soap and water, or preferably with an alcohol-based hand solution, kills viruses that may be on your hands. It is simple, but it is very important.
“Cover your nose and mouth with a bent elbow or tissue when you sneeze or cough,” says Carli Lloyd two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner from the United States. “Dispose of tissue immediately and wash your hands.”
Droplets spread the coronavirus. By following respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from contracting viruses, such as cold, flu and coronavirus.
“Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose or mouth to prevent the virus from entering your body,” adds FC Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi, The Best FIFA Men’s Player in 2019, and a multiple FIFA Ballon d’Or winner.
Hands touch too many surfaces and can quickly pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your face, from where the virus can move inside your body, making you feel unwell.
“In terms of social interaction, take a step back,” says Han Duan, who represented China PR 188 times in an international career that spanned 11 years. “Stay at least one metre distance from others.”
By maintaining such social distancing, you are helping to avoid breathing in any droplets from someone who sneezes or coughs in close proximity.
Feel – know your symptoms
“If you feel unwell, stay home,” concludes Samuel Eto’o, former FC Barcelona and Cameroon striker, who represented his country 114 times. “Please follow all instructions provided by your local health authorities.”
If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.
Keep informed as local health authorities provide the latest information on the situation in your area. Please follow their specific instructions, and call in advance to allow them to direct you to the appropriate local health facility. This serves to protect you and to help prevent the spread of virus and other infections.
FIFA have also pledged $10 million to support the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO.
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