Tall Black Isaac Fotu has continued to urge the public to take the coronavirus pandemic and self-isolation measures seriously, shortly after his return from Italy.
Fotu, who plays professional basketball for Treviso in the Italian Serie A basketball league, has recently returned home from one of the hardest hits parts of Europe, where the entire city is in virtual lockdown because of the pandemic.
The 26-year-old has been in self-isolation since Monday in his family's home where he will see out the mandatory 14 days of isolation imposed by the government over the weekend.
After landing home in New Zealand, Fotu called on the rest of the country to take the threat of coronavirus seriously, tweeting: "I've seen first hand how bad this thing can get. I'll see y'all in 2 weeks I'm doing this thing right. Let's all do the right thing and protect our loved ones and our beautiful country."
He's since continued to use his platform online to spread awareness about the virus and the importance of self-isolation.
"Bruh I'd rather just get tested," he tweeted today. "People acting like I really have the virus because I put myself into self quarantine. Bro I'm not doing this isolation for me, I could beat the virus, I'm doing this for my grandparents, your grandparents and people who don't stand a chance."
Fotu has also shared self-isolation guidelines and updates about his days in self-isolation.
Speaking to Radio Sport Breakfast earlier in the week, the Tall Black star spoke about the "crazy" situation in Northern Italy.
"It was crazy," he said. "It definitely happened really fast. It started about a month ago. We heard some stuff but no one really took it too seriously.
"And then two weeks ago they said we were going to play games without fans behind closed doors, which was pretty strange too. But I don't think they took it seriously; people were still going out. And then about a week ago it really got crazy.
"You weren't allowed out of your house – only just to go to the supermarket or go to work. It really crept up on us and it got really crazy. I got out of there while I could. I was one of the last let out of Italy to come home and get in self-isolation."
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He applauded the response from the New Zealand government but said it is important that everyone follows the measures properly in order to avoid a similar situation in Italy.
"I think it's good that they've started early with these precautions but I think it's important like I said in my tweet that everyone does it properly. Because if people are still going out they could spread it if they do have it. And that was a big problem in Italy. People were still meeting up and going to dinner and doing social gatherings and that's when it spread like crazy.
"The videos [on the internet] aren't exaggerations at all. It got really crazy. To go anywhere you had to go through military stops, you had to show a piece of paper saying why you're travelling and what was the purpose of your travel. And you can get fined if you're just walking the streets for no reason. It was really strange driving to practice and there was no one on the streets."
Fotu said it might not be worth the risk for sports to go ahead even without fans.
"I'm not too sure. Obviously the population is a lot higher in Italy but I don't know if it's worth playing without fans. We'll see how it goes."