New Delhi: “For the first time ever we, the entire world, are all playing on the same team. Our opponent is a disease. We need determination, discipline, and teamwork to beat coronavirus. The world of football is united and together, we will win”, states the video message released by FIFA, the international governing body of football, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO). To combat COVID-19, which has infected over half a million people (5,32,809) across 176 countries, WHO and FIFA have teamed up by launching a new awareness campaign – “Pass the message to kick out coronavirus”.
The video campaign launched on Monday (March 23) is focused on promoting the five key steps to contain the spread of the pandemic. The five crucial steps include hand washing; sneezing and coughing etiquette – covering the nose and mouth with a bent elbow or tissue; not touching your face; social distancing; staying home if feeling unwell.
The video highlighting the measures to stop the spread of coronavirus is being published in 13 languages and features 28 football players. Speaking at the virtual launch of the campaign, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said, “We need teamwork to combat the coronavirus. FIFA has teamed up with the WHO because health comes first. I call upon the football community worldwide to join us in supporting this campaign to pass the message even further. Some of the greatest players to have played the beautiful game have put their names to the campaign and are united in their desire to pass the message to kick out COVID-19.”
Watch Football Legends Give Lesson On How To Beat Coronavirus
The one minute 34 seconds long video stresses on the fact that how in the game of coronavirus, there are only two teams – the world and COVID-19. Just like in other games, only one team can win and here the world has to win this battle against infectious disease.
Let some of football's biggest names tell you what you need to be doing to help tackle #COVID19.
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) March 23, 2020
Highlighting the five steps to tackle the novel coronavirus, former footballer Gary Lineker said, “There are five key steps to tackle the coronavirus – hands, elbow, face, distance and feel.”
Elaborating on the first step, ‘hand’, Brazillian Footballer Alisson Becker requested everyone to wash their hands regularly. He said,
Please wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based solution.
Further guiding on coughing and sneezing etiquette, Carli Llyod, American soccer player, said,
With your elbows bent, please cover your nose and mouth, if you sneeze or cough. If using tissues, please dispose them immediately.
Experts and doctors are constantly asking everyone to not touch their face, especially with dirty hands because our hands touch too many surfaces and can quickly pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to face, from where the virus can move inside our body, making us feel unwell. Echoing the same in the video, Lionel Messi said, “For your face, avoid touching your eyes, your nose, and your mouth. This can prevent the virus from entering your body.
The fourth and another vital step is to maintain social distance. It is being said that this is not the time to sit or stand close to anyone, especially sick people. Reiterating the advice, Han Duan said,
In terms of social interaction, take a step back. Stay at least one-meter distance from everyone that coughs or sneezes.
By maintaining such social distance, you are helping to avoid breathing in any droplets from someone who sneezes or coughs in close proximity.
If you feel unwell, stay home. Please follow all instructions from your local health authority, said Samuel Eto’o, concluding the video.
The common symptoms of coronavirus are fever, cough and breathlessness. WHO suggests seeking medical advice in case you have symptoms and staying updated with the latest information provided by the local authorities.
Football Players Also Take WHO’s Safe Hands Challenge
To promote clean hands and instill the habit of washing hands with soap or alcohol-based rub, the World Health Organisation (WHO) that has declared the COVID-19 as a pandemic, launched the ‘Safe Hands Challenge’ on March 13.
In a two minute long video shared by WHO on Twitter, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, gave a lesson on how to have clean and safe hands. Dr Tedros taught the right technique to wash hands in 11 steps and asked the world to take the WHO Safe Hands Challenge and show where and how you wash your hands. He also nominated a bunch of celebrities, football players, and others.
There are simple things we each must do to protect ourselves from #COVID19, including ???? washing with ???? & ???? or alcohol-based rub.
WHO is launching the #SafeHands Challenge to promote the power of clean ???? to fight #coronavirus.
Join the challenge & share your ???? washing video! pic.twitter.com/l7MDw1mwDl
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 13, 2020
FIFA President Gianni Infantino joined Dr Tedros in his fight against COVID-19 by ensuring hand hygiene. In his video, Gianni Infantino not only promoted handwashing but also gave the message of saving water. He asked his viewers to not waste water and close the tap while rubbing hands with soap.
Gianni Infantino joins @DrTedros in @WHO #SafeHands Challenge. Practical actions protect & promote the health of all people. We must act now. Be prepared & ready to kick out #COVID19. Gianni challenges @alexmorgan13 @alexscott @didierdrogba @Kaka @NiallOfficial & YOU to join in. pic.twitter.com/6zSnaVVXDD
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) March 14, 2020
Brazilian Footballer Kaka also took the WHO #SafeHands challenge passed on to him by FIFA President Gianni Infantino for protecting the health and beating #COVID19. Sharing a video of him washing his hands with soap Kaka wrote, “We must be ready to support each other in this fight against #coronavirus for our families, our friends, our communities & our world.”
I am happy to accept the @WHO #SafeHands Challenge passed by @FIFAcom President Gianni Infantino for protecting #health & beating #COVID19. We must Be Ready to support each other in this fight against #coronavirus for our families, our friends, our communities & our world. https://t.co/iOdfVuNKwH pic.twitter.com/44AYNTc0uW
— Kaka (@KAKA) March 14, 2020
Dr Natalia Becker, serving WHO as Goodwill Ambassador for Health Promotion and her husband Alisson Becker, Brazilian Footballer answered Dr Tedros’s call to join the #SafeHands challenge. Alisson Becker replicated the 11 steps of handwashing as taught by Dr Tedros.
— Alisson Becker (@Alissonbecker) March 14, 2020
Other footballers including Didier Drogba and Peter Schmeichel too took the challenge and showed their support towards fighting the COVID-19.
About Coronavirus Outbreak
The novel coronavirus which originated in China’s Wuhan on December 30, 2019, has caused 24,080 deaths across the world. Slowly and gradually, the infectious disease is holding its ground in India as well where 724 cases and 17 deaths have been reported. In India, Kerala has 137 confirmed cases of coronavirus followed by Maharashtra with 130 cases.