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'Listen to the doctors': Khabib Nurmagomedov issues nationwide request as coronavirus strikes his own inner circle (VIDEO)

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has spoken out in a message to his fellow countrymen, begging them to stay safe and listen to the medical advice from the nation's doctors to beat the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking in a video post on Instagram in his native Russian, Khabib said, "I want to address my fellow Dagestanis in regard to this virus.

"The situation is rough in Dagestan, very sad. Hospitals are over-full, a lot of people got sick, many died. We need to unite, now more than ever, to show our manhood, our character, our discipline.

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"We can only beat this virus if we stand united. We have to listen to the doctors, their demands because they know best.

"They want us to be healthy. They want hospitals to not (get) overrun because there are no beds there, they lack equipment and medicine."

Khabib explained that the problems affecting his country are reflected across the globe, where different nations are experiencing different levels of success in reducing the infection and death rate of the COVID-19 virus based on the abilities of the different populations to follow advice regarding isolation and social distancing.

"It’s not just Dagestan or all of Russia," he explained. "The whole world wasn’t ready for this. Who would’ve thought 3-4 months ago that billions of people would have to stay home and hide from this virus? The only way to solve this problem is self-isolation.

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"There are a few countries that beat the virus but they did so by uniting and listening to doctors. They know better. They were begging us to stay at home. I remember a few months ago when all of this was starting in Dagestan nobody believed them. A lot of people didn’t listen to them when they were telling us to stay home.

"People think that this benefits someone or something else. I don’t know who this benefits - everyone gets sick, whether you’re a janitor or the president - there’s no difference whether you’re a deputy or prosecutor - everyone gets sick.

"The virus doesn’t ask your name, where you work. It doesn’t infect just the poor or the rich. Everyone got sick."

It means the whole world is fighting the same battle, and Khabib – a noted fighter himself – said victory is only assured if the world's population works together, follows medical advice and puts social gatherings and celebrations – including Eid al-Fitr (The Breaking of the Fast) – to one side to maintain discipline during a the pandemic.

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"We can beat this only if we’re united," Khabib insisted. "Please listen to the doctors. In a few days we’ll have Eid al-Fitr. We’re used to have guests at this time and go to the morning sermon on the day of Eid al-Fitr. Please don’t go. Muslim scientist are asking us to pray at home. Don’t go to people’s houses, don’t have guests.

"It’s a very difficult situation. More than 20 of my relatives, my close relatives – not my acquaintances –
more than 20 of my close family members were in the ER. Many of them aren’t with us now. Many of my acquaintances died, parents of the close ones died.

"Old people have a hard time with the virus
We young people have a better immune system,
but older people have a hard time with it
Please think of our parents and grandparents, our children. Please listen to the doctors, stay at home. Don’t go anywhere during Eid al-Fitr.

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"I’d like to wish everyone a good holiday. It’s a holiday we wait for all year, but now it’s more important to save ourselves, our loved ones and our elders.

"May Allah help us all. May Allah keep our parents, our elders, all of us healthy, whole, and undamaged. During these last nights of Ramadan, ask Allah for more. Allah loves the penitent, the ones who pray.

"Please, listen to the doctors."

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