NEW DELHI (AP) – Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his son have tested positive for the coronavirus and are hospitalized with mild symptoms in Mumbai, Indiaâ€™s financial and entertainment capital, a hospital statement said Sunday.
The Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital said that Amitabh Bachchan is stable with mild symptoms and is currently admitted in an isolation unit.
Bachchan, 77, said in a tweet on Saturday that he has tested positive and appealed to those who were in close proximity to him in the past 10 days to get themselves tested.
His son, Abhishek Bachchan, who is 44, tweeted Saturday night that he also has tested positive for COVID-19 and is hospitalized.
â€œBoth of us having mild symptoms have been admitted to the hospital,â€ he wrote. â€œI request all to stay calm and not panic.â€
The elder Bachchan has acted in more than 200 Indian films over the past five decades. He is also a former politician and a television host.
The Bachchans are often called Bollywoodâ€™s first family. His wife, Jaya, is also an actress and a one-time member of Parliament. Their son, Abhishek, and daughter-in-law, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, are Bollywood superstars as well.
The Press Trust of India news agency cited Maharashtra state Health Minister Rajesh Tope as saying Amitabh Bachchan and his son have cough and fever. “They underwent rapid antigen test and (results) came positive,” he said.
Since Amitabh Bachchan is comorbid, he got himself admitted to the hospital, the minister said.
The elder Bachchan’s breakthrough performance came in the 1973 film â€œZanjeer,â€ or â€œThe Chain,â€ and he rose to superstardom 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 former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s administration became ensnared in corruption.
Bachchan returned to film in the 1990s and made a rare Hollywood film appearance in Baz Luhrmannâ€™s 2013 version of â€œThe Great Gatsby.”
He embraced social media, engaging with fans using Twitter and Tumblr and served as host of â€œKaun Banega Crorepati,” Indiaâ€™s version of â€œWho Wants To Be A Millionaire.â€
In 2015, the actor revealed that he had been treated 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 worst hit by the coronavirus.
On Sunday, Indiaâ€™s coronavirus caseload reached near 850,000 with the biggest spike of 28,637 in the past 24 hours. The new confirmed cases took the national total to 849,553. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some – especially older adults and people with existing health problems – it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.