RIO DE JANEIRO, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Veteran Sao Paulo FC midfielder Hernanes has urged Brazilians to heed warnings from public authorities about the coronavirus to prevent infection.
In a video posted on social media late on Thursday, the former Hebei China Fortune player said he was worried about his three children living in Italy, where more than 3,400 people have died from COVID-19.
"I have contact with people in Italy, three of my children are there," said Hernanes, whose career has included spells with Italian clubs Lazio, Inter Milan and Juventus.
"They are fine and I speak to them daily. I have also spoken to friends, people for whom I have great affection, and they have informed me of the situation there."
The 34-year-old playmaker, who was capped 27 times for Brazil from 2008 to 2014, urged people to remain in their homes and limit social contact.
"I'm very worried, because cases continue to grow here in Brazil," he said. "There are still many people on the street with the same attitude that many Italians previously had. Even I thought it wouldn't be very serious. But it's time for us to take the situation seriously because if it reaches the same level in Brazil as in Italy, there will be even more drastic consequences."