At least 13 Bollywood stars have been hit by what Indian officials say is the country’s second wave of Coronavirus, with COVID-19 cases in India reaching an all-time high in some states.
One state that has been particularly hard hit is Maharashtra – which has noted a considerable increase in cases in the past few weeks.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked central teams to visit Maharashtra and review the reasons for the spike in cases in the state.
In addition, the Maharashtra government on Sunday announced new restrictions, including a night curfew from 8 pm to 7 am in the state and a weekend lockdown.
Bollywood stars meanwhile have not been able to escape the virus and among those who tested positive for the virus include:
Kumar has become the latest celebrity to test positive for COVID-19. News broke on Sunday of Kumar’s diagnosis. In addition, Kumar’s own ‘Sooryavanshi’ was scheduled to release in cinemas on April 30. However, with cinemas now shut in the new lockdown, dates could be affected in coming weeks.
Hour’s after Kumar was tested positive, actor Govinda also got his results back showing he too had the virus. His wife Sunita Ahuja told local media that the 57-year-old actor has been experiencing “mild symptoms” and is following all the necessary protocols – he has isolated himself and is currently under quarantine.
Actress Alia Bhatt announced she had tested positive on April 2 and will remain under home quarantine. In a post on Instagram, the actress wrote: “Hello all, I have tested positive for COVID-19. I have immediately isolated myself and will be under home quarantine. I am following all safety protocols under the advice of my doctors. Grateful for all your love and support. Please stay safe and take care.”
Fatima Sana Shaikh
On March 29 actress Fatima Sana Shaikh also informed her fans that she’s facing a similar scenario. “I have tested for COVID-19 and currently following all the precautions and protocols and have been quarantining myself,” said Shaikh in an Instagram post.
Bollywood actor Vikrant Massey revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19 and through his Instagram account on March 28 he urged all those who were in contact with him to get tested. Massey had resumed filming for the Bollywood thriller ‘Love Hostel’ last month, but the actor maintained that he had taken all the necessary precautions. “Despite necessary precautions on the shoot, I have tested COVID-19 positive. In self-quarantine. Requesting all those who’ve come in contact with me in the last few days to get tested, ASAP. I am taking the prescribed medications and adequate rest and currently doing fine,” he wrote in his post. The actor also cautioned his fans to adhere to social distancing and safety protocol rules.
On March 27, Paresh Rawal also announced he had tested positive for the virus. The Bollywood veteran took to social media to inform everyone about his condition, while warning those who have been in contact with him to get tested as well.
On March 22, Kartik Aaryan announced he had tested positive for COVID-19. The actor took to his Instagram and shared the news with his fans on Monday. He also urged his fans to pray for his recovery.
Bollywood actor Aamir Khan also tested positive for COVID-19 on March 24 and was at home in quarantine. He also urged everyone who had come into contact with him to get tested.
During the second week of March, Indian National Award winner Manoj Bajpayee also tested positive for COVID-19. He told Gulf News last week that he was still feeling weak but was recovering.
‘Gully Boy’ actor Siddhant Chaturvedi also tested positive last month. He immediately informed his fans in a social media post, while reassuring them that he was doing well and isolating at home.
Ranbir Kapoor along with Ashish Vidhyarthi and filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali also tested positive for the coronavirus last month.
In the past 24 hours, India recorded 93,249 new coronavirus cases taking its overall caseload to almost 12.5 million (12,485,509).
India records spike in daily COVID cases and 21 deaths in 24 hours
India logged 17,073 new COVID-19 cases early Monday morning, raising its tally to 43,407,046, and 21 deaths in the past 24 hours, the health ministry reported.
The death toll now stands at 525,020.
The national COVID-19 recovery rate was 98.57 percent, the ministry said.
Pakistan’s ministry of health meanwhile reported Monday that it had recorded 382 new cases in the last 24 hours.
This took Pakistan’s COVID-19 total case count to over 1.53 million. Two deaths were also reported in the past 24 hours.
However, experts say Pakistan may potentially witness another COVID-19 wave as the country continues to see an uptick in new cases.
Pfizer says tweaked COVID-19 shots boost omicron protection
Pfizer announced Saturday that tweaking its COVID-19 vaccine to better target the omicron variant is safe and works — just days before US regulators debate whether to offer Americans updated booster shots this fall.
The vaccines currently used in the US still offer strong protection against severe COVID-19 disease and death — especially if people have gotten a booster dose, AP reported.
But those vaccines target the original coronavirus strain and their effectiveness against any infection dropped markedly when the super-contagious omicron mutant emerged.
Now with omicron’s even more transmissible relatives spreading widely, the US Food and Drug Administration is considering ordering a recipe change for the vaccines made by both Pfizer and rival Moderna in hopes that modified boosters could better protect against another COVID-19 surge expected this fall and winter.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech studied two different ways of updating their shots — targeting just omicron, or a combination booster that adds omicron protection to the original vaccine. They also tested whether to keep today’s standard dosage — 30 micrograms — or to double the shots’ strength.
In a study of more than 1,200 middle-aged and older adults who’d already had three vaccine doses, Pfizer said both booster approaches spurred a substantial jump in omicron-fighting antibodies.
“Based on these data, we believe we have two very strong omicron-adapted candidates,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.
Pfizer’s omicron-only booster sparked the strongest immune response against that variant.
India sees surge in new COVID-19 infections
India’s ministry of health on Thursday reported they have seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country in the past 24 hours.
According to the health ministry, 13,313 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, compared to 12,249 cases on Wednesday.
According to the Ministry, 10,972 people have recovered from the infection which took the total number of recoveries to over 42 million.
With the recorded cases, India’s active caseload now stands at 83,990.
The ministry also said 38 people have died in the last 24 hours due to the infection, taking the total number of deaths to 524,941.
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