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Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, family members hit by coronavirus

MUMBAI: Bollywood is reeling with shock as three generations of the Bachchan family were hit by the coronavirus.

The Bachchans are Bollywood royalty with a massive following.

Former Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her daughter yesterday joined her father-in-law Amitabh and husband Abhishek in testing positive for the virus that causes Covid-19.

Maharashtra state health minister Rajesh Tope said in a tweet that Aishwarya and her eight-year-old daughter had tested positive for the virus.

It was not clear whether they had been admitted to hospital, as Amitabh, a legendary Indian actor, and Abhishek were on Saturday, when they said they had mild symptoms.

Hospital officials and government health authorities said earlier yesterday that Amitabh, 77, and his son were in stable condition.

People in northern and western India were conducting Hindu prayer rituals for the Bachchan family, social media and television footage showed.

Aishwarya, 46, who often features on "most beautiful" lists, has worked in several Bollywood and Hollywood films.

She is a brand ambassador for several multinational companies, including L'Oreal.

Amitabh's wife Jaya, also an actor, has tested negative, said the health minister.

Amitabh, a revered celebrity who endorses dozens of Indian and global brands, has a net worth estimated to be over US$100 million (S$139 million), trade analysts say.

The minister later deleted his tweet, but another government official confirmed to Reuters the information was accurate. A spokesman for Aishwarya declined comment.

Authorities launched a massive sanitising drill at Amitabh's upscale residence in Mumbai, spraying disinfectant in the large compound and on cars parked outside.

India yesterday registered a record increase in cases, taking the total number of affected people in the country to nearly 850,000, the world's third-highest, and prompting authorities to reimpose partial lockdowns in some densely populated areas.

Federal health ministry data showed more than 27,100 new cases were reported in the previous 24 hours, while the death toll hit 22,674, after 551 people succumbed in a day. - REUTERS

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