Bollywood superstar and living legend, Amitabh Bachchan has been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus. In a statement issued to his official Twitter account on Saturday to more than 43 million followers, the 77-year-old revealed the news, writing he has "shifted to the hospital" and has informed authorities of the diagnosis. He further urged those that he came in contact with over the past few days to also get tested.
According to Variety, the actor — who has a combined social media following of more than 94 million followers across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter — has been admitted to Mumbai's Nanavati hospital. The outlet further notes his son, Abhishek Bachchan, the star of Amazon Original Series, Breathe: Into the Shadows and husband to Miss World 1994, Aishwarya Rai, also tested positive for COVID-19.
"Earlier today both my father and I tested positive for COVID 19. Both of us having mild symptoms have been admitted to the hospital," Abishek tweeted. "We have informed all the required authorities and our family and staff are all being tested. I request all to stay calm and not panic. Thank you."
Hailed one of the most influential actors of Indian cinema with his very distinct voice, Bachchan has starred in more than 180 films in his career spanning across five decades and hailed a living legend in his country. Starring in his first feature film in 1969 with Saat Hindustani, he has dominated the silver screen for nearly half a century and continues to be a light of regality in India. Bachchan also starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby in 2013.
Friends and fellow Bollywood stars reached out to Bachchan on Twitter, expressing their prayers and thoughts as he and his son overcome the diagnosis. Singer and songwriter, Adnan Sami tweeted, "Prayers... You're a fighter & the personification of 'Survivor'... FIGHT!! Duas [translates to prayers]." Elsehwere, Priyanka Chopra's cousin, Parinetti Chopra also tweeted, "Speedy recovery sir. You will be fine soon!"
God no no ... this is the worst news .. wishing the God of our film industry and the living legend we alllll love and worship @SrBachchan the speediest recovery ... prayers 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/s2XccUQBnl— ameesha patel (@ameesha_patel) July 11, 2020
He is a fighter. He will come out of this ... He wins over everything.. This time too.. He will be fine 🧿 I pray that Amit uncle gets well soon ... back home safe & healthy ♥️🙏🏼 @SrBachchan— Esha Deol (@Esha_Deol) July 11, 2020
According to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University, India in just three weeks has gone from the world's sixth worst-affected country to the third. The country's fragile health system was sustained during a steady months-long lockdown but could not support the overwhelming rise in infections. India has tallied more than 790,000 infections with more than 21,600 deaths as cases double every three weeks. They are currently testing more than 250,000 samples a day, but medical researchers say this is inadequate for a country of nearly 1.4 billion people.