Khabib Nurmagomedov is urging his fans, as well as the entire Dagestani community, to respect the government mandated lockdown and preventative measures in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The UFC champion, who returned to Russia last month and found himself stuck there once Russia issued its travel restrictions, took to social media to explain why it is important for everyone to play their part in limiting the spread of the deadly disease.
“Many hoped that the trouble would not land on their doorstep; many still do not believe in the seriousness of the situation. However, our negligence to the advice and requests of doctors, coupled with the panic created by the people, led to a high rate of spread of the disease, exacerbating the already difficult situation,” Nurmagomedov said to his 19.8 million followers on Instagram. “The fact is our hospitals are now overcrowded with patients. There are no specialists and not enough medication or supplies, while the number of patients is only growing.”
Two days ago, the Kremlin announced a spike of 6,198 coronavirus infections in a single day, bringing the total to 87,147 confirmed cases, which is more than China’s official figures. As of Wednesday, Russia has more than 99,000 confirmed cases of COVID-10, including 972 deaths.
Earlier this week, reports emerged that Nurmagomedov’s father and longtime mentor, Abdulmanap, had been hospitalized with pneumonia and flu-like symptoms. It remains unclear whether he contracted COVID-19, though a recent update suggests he is en route to making a full recovery.
“Believe me, the disease is deadly and we already feel it ourselves. By staying at home, we can reduce the burden on doctors and hospitals, and perhaps through our cautiousness, we will save lives. Take care of your loved ones and do not let them leave the house unnecessarily.”
There are currently 3,173,442 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world, including 220,414 deaths. The United States accounts for over 1 million of those confirmed cases and more than a quarter of the overall deaths.