India joins in prayer after filmstar Amitabh Bachchan tests Covid-19 positive
New Delhi, July 12 (efe-epa).- Stars, ordinary citizens, and even ministers turned to social networks on Sunday in solidarity with India’s most famous film star, Amitabh Bachchan, and his son, who are in a hospital after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
“I have tested Covid positive,” Bachhan tweeted, adding that he had shifted to a hospital in the western city of Mumbai, known as the commercial and entertainment capital of India.
“All (who) have been in close proximity to me in the last 10 days are requested to please get themselves tested,” the 77-year-old iconic star wrote.
His son Abhishek Bachchan, also a film star, has also been admitted after he showed “mild symptoms”.
“Both my father and I tested positive for Covid-19. Both of us having mild symptoms have been admitted to a hospital. 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,” the junior Bachchan wrote on Twitter.
The father-son duo appealed to their millions of fans to stay calm even as the authorities in Mumbai said they were in a stable conditions.
The news triggered a barrage of support on social media networks for the legendary actor, known for his iconic roles in “Sholay” (1975), “Amar Akbar Anthony” (1977), or the most recent “Pink”(2016).
India’s federal minister of health, Harsh Vardhan, in a series of tweets said he and the entire country were praying for the speedy recovery of “dear Amitabh Ji”.
“After all, you are the idol of millions in this country, an iconic superstar. We will all take good care of you. Best wishes for a speedy recovery,” the minister said.
“(I) am sure both of you will bounce back to perfect health soon. The Bachchans rule our hearts. Our prayers for you,” he added.
Some people even shared videos on social networks organizing prayers for the senior Bachchan, who enjoys a larger than life stardom in the country, thanks not only to the movies he has worked in, but also because he promotes dozens of commercial products making his image ubiquitous in the Indian mediascape.
The superstar also does an awareness campaign for the country’s fight against the coronavirus.
In one such video, he calls on the 1.3 billion Indians to wear masks and wash their hands frequently.
“Covid-19 can be stopped, together we can do it,” Bachchan says in one of his messages, aired even today on Indian TV networks.
India is already the third worst-affected country by the coronavirus pandemic, only behind the United States and Brazil, and has registered nearly 850,000 positive cases and 22,674 deaths.
The number of new cases detected daily has increased steadily and on Sunday the figure exceeded 28,000, a new record in the Asian country. EFE-EPA