Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 7 August 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and daughter test positive for coronavirus

Jaya Bachchan's test came up as negative

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, 46, and her daughter, Aaradhya, 8, have both tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Maharastra state health minister, Rajesh Tope, said in a tweet on Sunday, July 12, that the mother and daughter had tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19.

The news comes a day after Aishwarya's father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan, 77, and her husband Abhishek, 44, both announced that they had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Amitabh is in hospital in an isolation unit, but his symptoms are currently being reported as mild and he is in a stable condition.

"They both voluntarily undertook antigen tests and since the results were positive they both have been admitted to Nanavati Hospital," Tope said in a video statement about Amitabh and Abhishek, adding that they both had a mild cough and fever. He noted that Jaya, Aishwarya and Aaradhya were tested the day after Amitabh and Abhishek.

Jaya Bachchan, 72, wife of Amitabh, has tested negative for Covid-19. Sources say she will, however, remain isolated and be tested again soon to check for a false negative.

Suresh Kakani, commissioner from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that 16 people from the household have been tested, including those who work there.

As Aishwarya and her daughter are asymptomatic, Kakani says they can stay at home but will need to sign a declaration that they will isolate, or else they will need to go to hospital.

On Sunday, BMC workers were seen at the Bachchan family home: they were there to sanitise the premises.

Civic authority workers spray sanitiser on the main door of the residence of Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan as he tested positive for COVID-19 in Mumbai on July 12, 2020. Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, 77, tested positive for COVID-19 on July 11 and was admitted to hospital in Mumbai, with his actor son Abhishek -- who also announced he had the virus -- saying both cases were mild. / AFP / Sujit Jaiswal
Civic authority workers spray sanitiser on the main door of the residence of Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan. AFP

Mumbai is among the Indian cities worst hit by the coronavirus. On Sunday, the country's virus caseload reached near 850,000, with 28,637 new cases announced, a new single-day high for India.

When announcing his diagnosis on Twitter on Saturday, Amitabh wrote: "All that have been in close proximity to me in the last 10 days are requested to please get themselves tested!"

On Sunday morning, actor Anupam Kher announced that his mother, who also lives in Mumbai, has tested positive for Covid-19. He said his own test was negative.

More on 'Big B'

Known as "Big B", Amitabh rose to fame in the early 1970s on the back of roles in hit movies such as Zanjeer and Sholay.

Active in the film industry since 1969, he has worked on more than 200 movies. His films still open to packed cinemas across India, but his new movie – comedy-drama Gulabo Sitabo – was released on Amazon's streaming service due to the coronavirus restrictions.

Amitabh is an active Twitter user, where he has 43 million followers, and his career has branched into television presenting, business and politics, as well as countless commercial endorsements.

Amitabh, who has won multiple awards for his acting, also hosts Kaun Banega Crorepati, India's version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire – one of the most-watched shows on Indian television for 20 years.

Although the actor lives a healthy lifestyle, he has a history of health issues. He suffered a near-fatal injury during the shooting of an action scene on a film set in 1982 and was critically ill for several months. Thousands gathered outside the hospital and offered prayers daily.

Fans of Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan hold posters of the actor while a Hindu priest (R) performs special rituals and prayers for the recovery of the actor as he tested positive for COVID-19, at a Hindu temple in Kolkata on July 12, 2020. Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, 77, tested positive for COVID-19 on July 11 and was admitted to hospital in Mumbai, with his actor son Abhishek -- who also announced he had the virus -- saying both cases were mild. / AFP / Dibyangshu SARKAR
Fans of Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan hold posters of the actor while a Hindu priest (R) performs special rituals and prayers for the recovery of the actor as he tested positive for COVID-19, in Kolkata on July 12, 2020. AFP

The accident led to the actor contracting the Hepatitis B virus after a blood transfusion from a donor who was carrying it unknowingly. Reports say his liver lost 75 per cent of its function last year due to cirrhosis caused by the virus.

The film industry around Bollywood only recently opened for work after a months-long hiatus following the imposition of a nationwide lockdown in India in late March. But actors that are over 65 – who are often most vulnerable to the virus – such as Amitabh, have been told to stay off set amid the pandemic.

Millions of Indians revere Amitabh like royalty, hanging on his every word, seeking his blessings and congregating outside his Mumbai bungalow every year on October 11, his birthday.

Fellow Bollywood stars left well wishes on social media. Sonam Kapoor tweeted: "Get well soon Amit uncle. All my love and prayers."South Indian superstar Mohanlal tweeted, "wishing you a quick recovery, prayers" to Abhishek's tweet about his diagnosis.

Updated: July 12, 2020 03:22 PM

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