GENEVA (AFP, REUTERS) - Tennis great Roger Federer on Wednesday (March 25) donated one million Swiss francs (S$1.48 million) to help support his "most vulnerable" Swiss compatriots through the coronavirus crisis.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion and his wife said nobody should be left behind as Switzerland battles against the global pandemic.
The world No. 4 joins the list of sports stars helping out the needy.
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola had each donated €1 million (S$1.56 million) to help clinics and medical centres fight the outbreak.
Portugal and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes also came together to donate lifesaving equipment to Portuguese hospitals.
According to official figures reported to the World Health Organisation, Switzerland has the ninth-highest number of infections in the world.
The Swiss health ministry said more than 8,800 people have tested positive for Covid-19, while 86 people had died as of Monday.
"These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind. Mirka and I have personally decided to donate one million Swiss francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland," Federer, 38, said on Instagram.
"Our contribution is just a start. We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis! Stay healthy!"
Last Friday, the Swiss government further tightened measures against the coronavirus, banning all gatherings of more than five people, while anyone standing closer than two metres to others risks a fine.
The government had already ordered the closure of schools and all places of leisure, including restaurants, bars and non-food shops.
The tennis season is, however, suspended until June 7 due to the pandemic.