As needs emanating from the devastating impact of coronavirus continue to increase, people of goodwill have been expressing cheerfulness by giving in support of the fight against the pandemic. From businessmen to music stars to athletes, material and financial donations have gone off to places of need, especially countries with a high number of confirmed cases and vulnerable people.
In Spain, Argentine and Barcelona astro, Lionel Messi has given €1 million ($1.1 million) to the city of Barcelona as Spain intensifies its battle to contain COVID-19.
“Leo Messi makes a donation for the fight against COVID-19 at the clinic. Many thanks for your commitment and your support,” Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic said on Twitter.
Spain has been heavily hit by the pandemic with over 47,610 confirmed cases and 3,434 deaths, the second highest rate in the world after Italy. It is one of the most affected European countries beside Italy, Germany and France. The alarming rate coronavirus is spreading in the continent has necessitated the suspension of football activities until further notice, as everyone is being urged to stay at home.
Messi has been notably vocal in his campaign against the virus, urging people to stay at home and prevent the spread of the disease.
“These are tough times for everyone. We’re all worried about what’s happening and want to help by putting ourselves in the position of those who are having the worst time of it, either because they themselves are directly affected or their family and friends are or because they’re working on the front line in hospitals and health centers to battle against it. I want to send all of them lots of strength.
“Our health must always come first. This is an exceptional time and we must follow the instructions of both the health organizations and public authorities. That’s the only way we’ll be able to fight against this effectively,” Messi wrote on a Facebook post.
With this donation, the sixth time Ballon D’or winner appears to be working the talk, a gesture that has been applauded as it is seen as inspiration for others to give.
Juventus and Portuguese playmaker, Cristiano Ronaldo has followed the same step, jointly pledging €1 million ($1.1 million) with his agent, Jorge Mendes, to fund three intensive care units in Portugal. The donation will cover two ICUs in Santa Maria hospital in Lisbon and one at the Santo Antonio hospital in Porto.
“We were contacted by Jorge Mendes, who volunteered with Cristiano Ronaldo to fund two intensive care units for critically ill patients with COVID-19. There are fans, monitors, infusion pumps, beds, all the equipment that makes up an intensive care unit equipped to provide assistance to a patient infected with COVID-19,” said Santa Maria president Daniel Ferro.
Portugal has recorded over 2,300 coronavirus cases that resulted in over 33 deaths, prompting the government to shut down all non-essential businesses in the country. Hospitals in the country have been running short of ICUs especially in cities like Porto.
“This unit will allow the opening of 15 intensive care beds, fully equipped with fans, monitors and other equipment,” said Paulo Barbosa, president of the board of Centro Hospitalar Universitario do Porto. “The Hospital thanks Cristiano Ronaldo and Jorge Mendes for this very useful initiative, at a time when the country needs everyone so much.”
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has also joined the 1 million euro pledge campaign. The Catalan coach made the donation through the Col.legi Metges de Barcelona (Barcelona Medical College) and the Fundaçio Àngel Soler Daniel.
“Pep Guardiola participates in the donation campaign of the Col.legi de Metges de Barcelona and the Fundaçio Àngel Soler Daniel with a financial contribution of one million euros for the acquisition of sanitary material during the COVID-19 emergency,” a statement from the College said.
The humanitarian efforts of the College were struggling with about 33, 000 euros before Guardiola made his contribution. However, the foundation said the donation will go a long way to help it fulfill its campaign objectives of medical supplies and general material and sanitary equipment for hospitals.
In Switzerland, tennis star Roger Federer and his wife Mirka, said they will be donating 1 million Swiss Francs ($1.02 million) to help the most vulnerable families in the country, as coronavirus continues to wreak havoc around the world.
“These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind,” Federer wrote on Instagram. “Mirka and I have personally decided to donate one million Swiss Francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland.
“Our contribution is just a start. We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis.”