Bollywood Star Amitabh Bachchan has Tested Positive for COVID-19 as Cases Rise in India

Jul 11, 2020

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan says he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is hospitalized in Mumbai.

In a tweet on Saturday, Bachchan, 77, said his family and staff have also undergone tests and are awaiting results.

He appealed to those who were in close proximity to him in the past 10 days to get themselves tested.

Bachchan’s 44-year-old-son Abhishek Bachchan, also an actor, tweeted Saturday night that he also has tested COVID-19 positive and is hospitalized. “Both of us having mild symptoms. I request all to stay calm and not panic,” he wrote.

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.

Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Bangalore are among the Indian cities worst hit by the coronavirus.

On Saturday India saw its biggest daily spike as its infections passed 800,000. The surging cases are raising sharp concerns about unequal treatment in the pandemic, as the wealthy hoard medical equipment and use private hospitals and the poor crowd into overwhelmed public facilities.

India reported a new daily high of 27,114 cases on Saturday and nearly a dozen states have imposed a partial lockdown in high-risk areas. Cases jumped from 600,000 to more than 800,000 in nine days. People are packing India’s public hospitals as many are unable to afford private ones that generally uphold higher standards of care.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged top officials to improve infection testing and tracking, especially in states with high positive rates.

Globally more than 12.5 million people have been infected by the virus and over 560,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Experts say the pandemic’s true toll is much higher due to testing shortages, poor data collection in some nations and other issues.

Copyright 2020 KQED. To see more, visit KQED.