Bollywood star and L’Oréal Ambassador Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her eight-year-old daughter have been admitted to Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital with Covid-19. They had been quarantining at home for approximately one week after testing positive, but both cited “breathlessness” before seeking more direct medical supervision, according to The Times of India.
Bachchan’s husband, Abhishek Bachchan, and her father-in-law, elder statesman of Indian cinema Amitabh Bachchan, have been at the same ward since last Saturday. Bachchan matriarch, Jaya Bachchan, has tested negative for the disease.
The 46-year-old Aishwarya Rai, winner of the 1994 Miss World pageant, fell in love with Abhishek Bachchan on the set of the 2006 buddy cop film Dhoom 2. She then married into the legendary Bollywood family in 2007. She is among the most popular celebrities in India (over 17,000 fansites in her honor, according to an article from 2011 in India Today!) and in 2003 she was the first Indian actress to serve on the jury at the Cannes Film Festival. She is also a goodwill ambassador for Smile Train and UNAIDS.
Most of Bachchan’s work has been in Hindi or Tamil films, though in 2004 she starred in Gurinder Chadha’s British romantic comedy Bride and Prejudice and in 2007 she appeared in Hollywood action-fantasy The Last Legion opposite Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley. In 2009 she appeared in The Pink Panther 2 with Steve Martin.
Amitabh Bachchan uploaded an image of he and Abhishek to Instagram earlier Saturday, with a message to well-wishers that “hospital protocol is restrictive, so individual responses are not possible … but we see, read, hear all of you … thank you.”
India currently ranks third in rapid coronavirus spread, behind Brazil and the United States. They passed the 1 million mark on Friday, breaking new records each day. Travel restrictions are being enforced domestically and international travel has all but ceased. Notably, however, the Covid-19 death rate in India is one of the lowest in the world. Experts believe that this may be due to India’s younger population, and some say it may also be due to common exposure to a tuberculoses vaccine. There is pushback to this idea, however, with others suggesting that India’s health agencies have not been monitoring its large rural population to get a true count.
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