Idris Elba praises Tom Hanks for 'transparency' over testing positive for COVID-19

Danny Thompson
Co-Creator Idris Elba attends the press night after party for "Tree" at The Young Vic on August 1, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Idris Elba has praised fellow actor Tom Hanks for his “transparency” after he tested positive for COVID-19 and says he was “motivated” by the Oscar-winning star to do the same over concerns people may try to “stigmatise” sufferers.

Elba released a statement to say he had tested positive after finding out he may have come into contact with the virus, despite not having any symptoms.

He has now issued an update to say he and wife Sabrina Dhowre Elba are "doing good" and to praise actor Hanks for being amongst the first high-profile celebrities to reveal they had tested positive.

Read more: Idris Elba tests positive for COVID-19

Elba admits he was concerned about being “stigmatised” for testing positive for the virus but says how Hanks handled it influenced his own actions.

In a video released on Twitter, Elba said: "I'm really proud of Tom Hanks who's also someone in the public eye.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 16: Sabrina Dhowre and Idris Elba attend the world premiere of "Cats" at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on December 16, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

“I was definitely motivated by Tom's move there, but also I think, there's some transparency given to the situation when someone like Tom or myself is in this situation.

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

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of COVID-19 cases in your local area

Explained: Symptoms, latest advice and how it compares to the flu

Elba, who has asthma, went on to reassure fans he hasn’t had any restrictions breathing and his life-long respiratory condition is “okay”.

He said: "My temperature is fine. I don't have a fever.

"I have asthma, so I fit in the high category of most at risk. I have a respiratory issue and I've had asthma all my life, so catching corona was definitely not on my bucket list at all, but even my asthma is okay. I don't feel any restriction within my breathing or my lungs."

There had been some uproar Elba had been able to secure a test, which aren’t readily available to the general public, despite not having any of the listed symptoms.

But the 47-year-old took the opportunity to acknowledged how lucky he was to take the coronavirus test.

Read more: Idris Elba tells fans 'this is serious' after testing positive for coronavirus

He said: "We are supremely aware that not many people can get tests," he said before adding he hopes self-isolation can be used as a chance “to stop and think about what's going on in our world, think about the energies that we're putting out to each other"

He concluded: "This disease doesn't see any borders and doesn't discriminate. So, I think that's really important that we take a moment."