Contagion movie stars Matt Damon, Kate Winslet urge public to wash their hands

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – The stars of the movie Contagion (2011), which has seen a surge in popularity as the coronavirus has spread across the globe, last Friday (March 27) urged fans to listen to experts, wash their hands frequently and practise social distancing.

“That was a movie. This is real life,” said actor Matt Damon, who played a character who was immune to the virus featured in the 2011 film about a pandemic.

Cast members Damon, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, and Jennifer Ehle teamed up with scientists from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health to release public service announcements on ways to contain the virus.

Rentals, sales and downloads of Contagion have soared in recent weeks. Last Friday, it was in 10th place on the iTunes movie charts for the United States, one spot above the newly-released Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

The thriller follows a mysterious deadly infection that spreads quickly around the world, causing a breakdown in society, and efforts by United States scientists to find a cure.

Ehle, who played a scientist who helped discover a vaccine in the movie, urged people to heed the advice of scientists and medical experts “and that means tuning out the voices with other agendas, no matter how powerful they might be”.

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