Fears of coronavirus outbreak in Bollywood after high profile star tests positive

Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan tested positive for COVID-19
Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan tested positive for COVID-19

Bollywood was left reeling on Sunday after actress Aishwarya Rai tested positive for coronavirus , 24 hours after her actor-husband Abhishek Bachchan and father-in-law Amitabh were admitted to a hospital with the disease.

Abshishek Bachchan had recently dubbed a film, sparking fears of an outbreak within the Indian film industry. Health officials have so far identified 30 people as high risk contacts, but indicated that there may be more.  Police said they were checking how many other celebrities may have been in contact with the family.

Mr Bachchan tweeted: “My father and I remain in hospital till the doctors decide otherwise. Everyone please remain cautious and safe. Please follow all rules!

“Aishwarya and Aaradhya have also tested COVID-19 positive. They will be self-quarantining at home. The Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been updated of their situation and are doing the needful. The rest of the family including my mother have tested negative. Thank you all for your wishes and prayers.”

Indian Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, 77, along with his son, Abhishek, also tested positive on Saturday. He urged all those in close proximity with him in the last 10 days to get tested.

Ms Rai, 46, a former Miss World, has worked in several Bollywood and Hollywood films. She is a brand ambassador for several multinational brands.

Authorities fumigated Mr Bachchan's upscale residence in Mumbai, spraying disinfectant in the large compound comprising four bungalows.

Assistant municipal commissioner Vishwas Mote said: “All four bungalows of the Bachchan family named Jalsa, Janak, Pratiksha and Vatsa have been sealed and declared as a containment zone. We are conducting contact tracing among all staff members, and till now 30 have been identified as high risk contacts.”

The Bachchan family have tested positive at a time when Bollywood has been hit with the  deaths of top artists Rishi Kapoor, Irrfan Khan and Sushant Singh Rajput, though they did not die from coronavirus.

Bollywood recently resumed film shoots after a months-long hiatus following a nationwide lockdown in late March. Families and staff members of several top Indian actors have tested positive for coronavirus in past one month.

The total number of deaths in India from coronavirus now stands at 22,674. The trend is still on the up, with the number of new cases diagnosed in the past 24 hours a record 28,637, the third consecutive day diagnoses increased by more than 26,000.