Coronavirus: Lewis Hamilton says he is self-isolating

At a charity event on March 4, the Formula One champion met people who later tested positive for COVID-19.

In this picture taken on March 12, Lewis Hamilton of Britain poses for a photo at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne. The race was eventually cancelled.   -  AP

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton says he has been self-isolating for more than a week after meeting people who later tested positive for the new coronavirus.

On March 4, Hamilton was at a charity event held in London; it was also attended by actor Idris Elba and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of the Canadian prime minister. Both were later found to have the virus.

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In a message on social media, Hamilton says he’s shown zero symptoms but has been isolating himself from other people ever since March 13, when the Australian Grand Prix was called off.

Hamilton said, “I did speak to my doctor and double checked if I needed to take a test but, the truth is there is a limited amount of tests available and there are people who need it more than I do.”

Helping hand

The start of the Formula One season has been wiped away by the pandemic with races in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Netherlands and Spain shelved and the iconic Riviera showpiece in Monaco cancelled.

A season which should have started in Melbourne on March 14 will now not start until Azerbaijan on June 7 at the earliest.

Formula One’s British-based teams are also hoping to contribute away from the track.

They are working on a plan to manufacture medical equipment needed to fight the coronavirus which up to Friday night had claimed 177 victims in the United Kingdom with the numbers infected set to top 4,000.

The British government and health authorities need more ventilators in intensive care units to deal with respiratory problems caused by the illness.

Formula One teams have engineering capabilities that could speed up the production of the units.

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