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Bollywood’s Amitabh Bachchan, 3 family members test positive

by Ace Damon

Amitabh Bachchan tested positive for coronavirus and is hospitalized in Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital, the Bollywood star announced on Twitter on Saturday.

Bachchan, 77, said in a tweet on Saturday that his family and team have also undergone tests and are awaiting results. He appealed to those who were close to him for the past 10 days to get tested.

Bachchan has acted in more than 200 Indian films in the past five decades. He is also a former politician and television presenter.

The Bachchans are often called Bollywood’s first family. His wife, Jaya, is also an actress and a former member of Parliament. Their son, Abhishek, and daughter-in-law, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, are also Bollywood superstars.

Abhishek Bachchan, 44, tweeted on Saturday night that he also tested positive and was hospitalized.

“Both of us with mild symptoms were admitted to the hospital,” he wrote. “I ask everyone to remain calm and not panic.”

The older Bachchan’s groundbreaking performance came in the 1973 film “Zanjeer”, or “The Chain”, and he rose to stardom playing bold characters, inspiring fans to copy his hairstyle, clothes and deep voice.

He briefly entered politics in 1985, but resigned his seat in Parliament mid-term, when the government of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was caught in corruption.

Bachchan returned to the cinema in the 1990s and made a rare appearance in Hollywood cinema in Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 version of “The Great Gatsby”.

He embraced social media, interacting with fans using Twitter and Tumblr and served as a host for “Kaun Banega Crorepati”, the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.

In 2015, the actor revealed that he had received treatment for hepatitis B for more than two decades and lost more than 75% of his liver to the disease.

Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Bangalore are among the Indian cities most affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

On Saturday, the number of coronavirus cases in India exceeded 800,000, with the largest increase of 27,114 cases reported in the past 24 hours. The new confirmed cases raised the national total to 820,916. The number of infections is thought to be much higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest that people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

The Ministry of Health also recorded an additional 519 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total deaths to 22,123.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that go away in two to three weeks. For some – especially the elderly and people with existing health problems – it can cause more serious illnesses, including pneumonia and death.

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