Coronavirus crisis reminds Shevchenko of Chernobyl

The Ukraine coach, who is currently self-isolating in England, has been reminded of the 1986 nuclear meltdown amid the current climate

Andriy Shevchenko says that he sees “a very similar situation” between the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic and the Chernobyl disaster over three decades ago.

The Ukraine coach, who is currently self-isolating in England where he lives, has also hailed the efforts of healthcare professionals and responders, calling them “the heroes of our time”.

The former AC Milan and Chelsea star was forced to move out of his childhood home in Kiev at the age of nine following the 1986 nuclear meltdown at the plant near Pripyat in then-Soviet Ukraine.

Speaking to Sky Sports Italia , the 43-year-old has now admitted that he sees parallels between both then and now, urging caution to help contain the spread of the virus as the death toll soars globally.

“I’m near London, I live just outside the city. I’ve been locked in for almost 10 days,” Shevchenko said. “We live this difficult moment with hope, hope that things will improve.

“The only solution is to respect the rules laid out by the government, stay at home and give doctors the opportunity to do their job.

“All the doctors in the world are doing a great job, the nurses, [the] volunteers. Thank you so much for all that you’re doing for us. You’re truly the heroes of our time.

“I experienced a very similar situation when I was nine years old and the Chernobyl power plant broke out. It was a difficult time. The only solution is to believe in government decisions. We don’t have to do stupid things, especially not leaving the house.

“We don’t know if we have the virus or not, there are many people who can be infected and carry the virus with them, continuing to pass it on to other people without symptoms. We mustn’t only think about ourselves but also the many other people we can infect.”

Ballon d’Or winner Shevchenko was expected to lead his nation into this year’s Euro 2020 tournament before UEFA made the decision to postpone it by a year .

Though his contract is set to expire before then, he is widely expected to still be in charge when the championship belatedly takes place across the continent next summer.