Andriy Shevchenko sees "similarities" between the Coronavirus pandemic and Chernobyl disaster and says health workers are "the heroes of our time".
Shevchenko is currently isolating in England, where he played for Chelsea between 2006 and 2009, and was just 9 when he was forced to move out of Kiev due to the nuclear accident at Chernobyl power plant in 1986.
"I'm near London, I live just outside the city. I've been locked in for almost 10 days," the Milan icon told Sky Sport Italia.
"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, 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."
The 43-year-old then had a message for the people of Italy, more than 10,000 of whom have lost their lives to COVID-19.
"I want to salute all Italians, I'm always close to you and. I send you all a big hug. Forza Italia, we can do it all together