Bollywood star Bachchan released after contracting coronavirus

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New Delhi (AFP)

Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan said on Sunday he was discharged from hospital three weeks after being admitted with “mild” coronavirus symptoms after testing positive for the disease.

The news came as the powerful Indian Minister of the Interior, Amit Shah, revealed he had tested positive for the coronavirus, which infects tens of thousands of people a day – and kills hundreds – in the second most populous country in the world.

More than 1.7 million people have now been infected in India and more than 37,000 have died, making it the highest toll in the world behind the United States and Brazil.

Bachchan’s actor-son Abishek, who was admitted at the same time, will remain in the hospital, while his stepdaughter Aishwarya Rai and granddaughter Aaradhya were released last week.

They were the most prominent family in India to contract the virus in a country that worships movie stars.

“I’m back home. I will have to be in solitary quarantine in my room, ”Bachchan wrote on Instagram, saying he had tested negative.

He thanked his family, his fans “and the excellent care and nursing” at the hospital, saying they “made it possible for me to see this day”.

At the time, he said he had “mild” symptoms.

Bachchan’s release came as Home Secretary Amit Shah – Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-hand man – said he had tested positive for the virus.

“By getting the first symptoms of the coronavirus, I got tested and my report is positive,” Shah tweeted.

“My health is fine, but on the advice of the doctors, I am being hospitalized”.

The 55-year-old has called on everyone in contact with him over the past two days to get tested and self-isolate.

It was not clear whether Shah had met Modi or other senior cabinet ministers in recent days. He was admitted to a hospital in Gurgaon, just outside the capital New Delhi, local media reported.

Bachchan, 77, idolized in India and affectionately known as “Big B”, has worked in the film industry for more than half a century.

His discharge from hospital was hailed by his legion of avid fans.

Hundreds of them gathered at the Amitabh Bachchan Temple – built by its fans in the city in 2001 and which has a life-size statue of the revered celebrity – in Calcutta on Sunday.

“Amitabh is our” guru “. He is more than a god to us, ”Sanjoy Patodiya, secretary of the Amitabh Bachchan Fan Association, told AFP on Sunday before the actor’s announcement.

“His fans spend sleepless nights praying for their god to be well soon. “

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