The world’s fastest man has tested positive for COVID-19. According to a top Jamaican public health official, Usain Bolt has fallen victim to the disease after celebrating his 34th birthday with a mask-free event. The news was announced during a news conference on Monday night, Aug. 24.
According to Christopher Tufton, the country’s health minister, the athlete had been formally notified of the positive test by Jamaican authorities. Bolt had initially revealed in a short clip shared to his Instagram account on Monday that he took a COVID-19 test on Saturday, Aug. 22, just one day after celebrating his 34th birthday, and was waiting for his results.
“It is now public knowledge that Mr. Bolt has tested positive. He has been formally notified, I’m told by the authorities, Tufton told reporters, according to WABC-TV. “‘It triggers an approach to questioning, interrogation if you will, which we follow through with contact tracing.”
“Good morning everybody, just waking up and like everybody else, checks social media. Saw social media say that I’m confirmed to have COVID-19. Did a test on Saturday to leave because I have work,” the eight-time Olympic gold medalist explained.
He added, “I’m trying to be responsible, so I’m going to stay in and stay away from my friends. And also, I’m having no symptoms, but I am going to quarantine myself. And wait on the confirmation to see what is the protocol on how I should go bout quarantining myself from the administration of health. Till then, I talked to all my friends and said not to come in contact with me.” Bolt advised those who had been around him to stay safe and “quarantine by themselves and to take it easy.”
Fans in the comments section sent their well wishes and wished the athlete a speedy recovery. Some users even offered up teas and other methods the athlete should look into to help combat the virus. One fan wrote, “I pray for a speedy recovery and no symptoms. Drink up your ginger tea nonstop.” They added, “I guess God is using Jamaica’s biggest star to get them to take this thing more serious.” However, many did accuse the star of being careless for hosting a party during a pandemic.
Bolt is one of the most decorated track athletes in Olympic history. He is the only sprinter to win both the 100m and 200m golds at three consecutive Olympic competitions from 2008 to 2016. In August 2017, following the World Athletic Championships, Bolt announced that he would be retiring from track and field.