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    Idris Elba Explained Why He Got Tested For Coronavirus Despite Not Showing Symptoms

    Elba revealed he had tested positive on Monday after learning he'd been exposed to someone who had the virus.

    On Monday, actor Idris Elba revealed in a video posted to his Twitter account that he had tested positive for coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19.

    In the video, Elba said that although he had experienced no symptoms of the disease, he'd taken the test after learning he had come into contact with someone who had also tested positive.

    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. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how Iโ€™m doing ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿพ No panic.

    He also stressed the importance of social distancing and staying vigilant during the crisis, saying: "There are people out there who aren't showing symptoms, and that can easily spread it, okay? So now's the real time to be really vigilant about washing your hands and keeping your distance."

    "Now's a time for solidarity. Now's a time for thinking about each other. There's been so many people whose lives have been affected," he concluded.

    During a livestream on Twitter on Tuesday, Elba gave some updates on his condition, announced that his wife, Sabrina Dhowre, had also been tested, and explained why he decided to speak publicly about his diagnosis.

    Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

    Elba said he decided to be "vocal and transparent" about his diagnosis in order to inform as many people as possible about the virus, and explained he was motivated to open up after seeing Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson do the same.

    Amy Sussman / Getty Images

    He explained: "Nobody knows too much about this virus, so we felt optimistic that more people were talking about it and what their experiences are. We definitely want to be vocal and transparent. I think, being in the public eye, we get to talk to a lot of people at one time."

    "I'm worried that people aren't talking to each other about it," he said. "I'm worried that people are going to stigmatise other people. I'm worried that we're going to panic and send the whole world into a spin."

    Idris Elba / Twitter: @idriselba

    Elba went on to speak about the importance of not spreading misinformation, particularly referencing the false conspiracy theory that black people aren't able to contract the virus.

    Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

    "There are so many stupid, ridiculous conspiracy theories about black people not being able to get it," he said. "Please understand that you can get it. Stop sending out those stupid WhatsApp messages about black people not getting it. That's ridiculous. This disease does not discriminate."

    He also announced his wife, Sabrina Dhowre, has now been tested for the virus, and is awaiting her results.

    And he explained how they were able to get tested despite not showing symptoms when tests have been difficult to come by for many people.

    Idris Elba / Twitter: @idriselba

    "I'm on location, about to start filming, so it was definitely something I had to do as I was about to start filming and I was around a lot of people," he said. "It meant putting a lot of people at risk and if I had been exposed, then the people I had been working with would also be exposed."

    He went on: "We are supremely aware that not a lot of people can get tests, and we feel very fortunate and lucky, but it is down to being on the job, quite honestly."

    Contact Ellie Bate at eleanor.bate@buzzfeed.com.

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