From Tom Hanks to Michel Barnier, coronavirus hits celebrities, sports stars and politicians

One thing the coronavirus pandemic has proved is that it makes no difference who you are – no one is immune.

Politicians, sporting stars and Hollywood celebrities are among those dealing with the virus.

Here’s a round-up of public figures around the world who have been diagnosed with Covid-19


Callum Hudson-Odoi, Chelsea

Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus as the pandemic continued to strike the sporting world.

In the early hours of Friday, Chelsea said the full men’s team squad, coaching staff and a number of backroom staff would self-isolate after Hudson-Odoi returned a positive test.

Callum Hudson-Odoi at a training session at Chelsea’s Cobham training facility in Stoke D’Abernon last November

Credit: AFP

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal

Arsenal confirmed  that their Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta had tested positive for coronavirus and that the entire Gunners first-team squad would be placed into self-isolation. 

Hours later the Premier League, acting on government advice, said that all this weekend’s fixtures would be postponed.

Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta

Credit: AFP

Arsenal managing director Vinai Venkatesham said: “Our thoughts are with Mikel, who is disappointed but in good spirits.

“We are in active dialogue with all the relevant people to manage this situation appropriately, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows.”

Evangelos Marinakis, Nottingham Forest

Arsenal’s league match at Manchester City was postponed and several Gunners players went into self-isolation after Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis contracted the virus.

Marinakis, 52, met a number of Arsenal’s players and staff when the Gunners faced Olympiakos in a Europa League tie in February.

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant was among four members of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team who tested positive for the coronavirus. The team announced on March 18 that multiple players were diagnosed with the disease, without disclosing names. Durant, a former NBA MVP and one of the biggest names in the sport, told The Athletic: “Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We’re going to get through this.”

Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz NBA player Rudy Gobert has confirmed he has Covid-19.

“What would kill the NBA season is if more players catch it,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in an interview on CNBC.

Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with the new coronavirus

Credit: Shutterstock

He called the hiatus a matter of “us being vigilant, as all businesses should be”.

“Businesses are going to have to be incredibly vigilant, and that’s hard,” Cuban said.

A day after the NBA put its season on temporary suspension, a second member of Utah Jazz, Donovan Mitchell, tested positive for coronavirus.

The league said its suspension would last for at least 30 days – possibly a conservative guess – as teams undertake the task of identifying any player or referee who has had recent contact with the Jazz, then putting them into isolation for the required two weeks.

Manolo Gabbiadini, Sampdoria 

Former Southampton striker Manolo Gabbiadini, now at Sampdoria, has also tested positive for coronavirus.

Fernando Gaviria, cyclist

Colombian cyclist Fernando Gaviria, who was participating in the UAE Tour prior to its cancellation last month, has confirmed he had the virus.

Gaviria, who had remained in quarantine in the UAE, said in a video message on Instagram: “There are many rumours circulating in regard to my state of health, but I’m fine. I’ve been here, undergoing regular tests, which have returned positive for the coronavirus, but I’m feeling fine.”

Other riders and staff from Gaviria’s UAE Team Emirates had been in voluntary quarantine since February 27 but have now announced they are to travel to Europe.


Michel Barnier

The EU’s Brexit negotiator has tested positive for coronavirus. The French politician took to Twitter to share the news on 19 March.

Michel Barnier has tested positive with coronavirus

Credit: AP

The French politician wrote: “I would like to inform you that I have tested positive for #COVID19. I am doing well and in good spirits. I am following all the necessary instructions, as is my team.”

“For all those affected already, and for all those currently in isolation, we will get through this together.”


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife has tested positive for coronavirus.

The Prime Minister’s office said Mr Trudeau was not showing any symptoms of  the virus, but he would stay in isolation for 14 days and work from home.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie in Quebec last October. Mrs Grégoire Trudeau has coronavirus.

Credit: Reuters

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau came down with flu-like symptoms after travelling to London.

She became sick after returning home from a visit to the UK last week and is also isolating herself at home, according to a statement which said her condition has improved but out of an abundance of caution she is being tested for Covid-19.

Mrs Grégoire Trudeau was in London to speak at a WE day event at Wembley about women’s empowerment alongside former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard and pop star Leona Lewis to an audience of 13,000 young people.

Begona Gomez, the wife of Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, has also been infected. The government said that Mrs Gomez and the prime minister are in good health.

Nadine Dorries

Minister Nadine Dorries is self-isolating at home after being diagnosed with the illness.

Fellow health minister Edward Argar is also self-isolating at home “as a precaution” after having lunch with Ms Dorries on Thursday, the day she started to feel unwell.

Nadine Dorries said she was concerned for her mother

Credit: Andrew Crowley

Ms Dorries said she felt weak and tired on Thursday.

“But [I] didn’t start with the first symptoms (cough) until 10.45am on Friday,” she wrote on Twitter.

Ms Dorries said it had been “pretty rubbish, but I hope I’m over the worst of it now”.

“More worried about my 84-year-old mum who is staying with me and began with the cough today.”

Nicola Zingaretti

Italian politician Nicola Zingaretti has tested positive to coronavirus.

The leader of the co-ruling Democratic party is the first leading Italian politician to test positive.

Mr Zingaretti is the brother of Montalbano star Luca Zingaretti.

Masoumeh Ebtekar

The vice president of Iran, Masoumeh Ebtekar, is the seventh government official to test positive in a country afflicted with the coronavirus.


Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks announced on Thursday that he and wife Rita Wilson have been diagnosed with coronavirus.

The Oscar-winning actor, 63, has been in Australia filming an upcoming Elvis Presley biopic and said he started experiencing symptoms of the virus.

Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson 

Credit: AFP

Hanks said he felt like he had a cold, while Wilson, also 63, suffered from chills.

They have both tested positive for coronavirus, Hanks said on Instagram.

“Well, now. What to do next? The medical officials have protocols that must be followed,” he said.

“We Hanks will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no?

“We’ll keep the world posted and updated. Take care of yourselves!”

Idris Elba

British actor Idris Elba confirmed he had tested positive for Covid-19 in a video posted on Twitter on March 16. He said he felt “OK” and had “no symptoms so far” but had begun self-isolating after discovering he had come into contact with another known case. The 47-year-old had attended the same We Day event at Wembley Arena on 4 March as Mrs Trudeau. 

Olga Kurylenko

Former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko revealed on March 15 that she had tested positive. The 40-year-old, who starred in Quantum of Solace, said she had been “ill for almost a week” with fever and fatigue before being diagnosed.

Kristofer Hivju

Kristofer Hivju, the actor best known for his role as Tormund Giantsbane in Game of Thronesis self-isolating at home with minor symptoms after testing positive for the virus.

Fiona Phillips

The former GMTV host Fiona Phillips told fans she had symptoms including a sore throat and dry cough but was “fine” and “not suffering”.

Phillips, 59, tweeted: “I am in bed with #coronvirusuk It’s not a very pleasant bedfellow, but nothing more than sore throat, dry cough, headache & tiredness. As long as it stays that way….DON’T panic!”


Prince Albert II

Monaco’s Prince Albert II has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the principality said in a statement on Thursday 19 March, adding there were “no concerns for his health”.

Monaco’s Prince Albert II with his wife Princess Charlene and their twin children Prince Jacques  and Princess Gabrielle

Credit: REX

The titular head of the Mediterranean enclave is continuing to work from his private apartments at the royal palace, the statement said.

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