Roger Federer and his wife Mirka have donated 1m Swiss francs “for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland” and have called on others to add their support. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Switzerland has imposed a ban on all private and public events and has closed all non-essential businesses until at least 19 April.
Federer announced the donation on social media on Wednesday. Alongside a picture of himself and wife Mirka, Federer wrote: “These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind. Mirka and I have personally decided to donate one million Swiss francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland.”
Switzerland has seen one of the highest rates of coronavirus infections per capita, making it one of the worst-affected countries. According to swissinfo.ch, 10,388 people have tested positive while 143 people have died.
An ‘extraordinary situation’ has been declared by the Swiss government, who have banned all public and private events and gatherings of more than five people. Bars, restaurants, sports and cultural spaces like museums and theatres have been closed. All non-essential businesses will remain closed until at least 19 April. The government has announced a 32-billion swiss franc aid package to help support the economy. “These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind,” Federer, 38, wrote on Instagram. “Our contribution is just a start. “We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis! Stay healthy!”
The 20-time Grand Slam champion is the latest in a string of sports stars to pledge money to support those affected by the virus. Reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep announced on Facebook last week that she would donate money to pay for medical equipment in her home country of Romania.
In football, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has donated one million euros to fight the outbreak in Spain and Barcelona forward Messi has contributed the same amount to hospitals in Barcelona and Argentina. Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes have donated 1m euros to three intensive care units for patients suffering from coronavirus at hospitals in Lisbon and Porto.
Ronaldo and Messi continue to lead the way even off the pitch. In these uncertain times, the world is coming together to fight the common enemy.
Let’s practice social distancing as we aim to overcome this pandemic.