Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai discharged from virus ward


Mumbai (AFP)

Bollywood star and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her daughter have been discharged from a Mumbai hospital where they were being treated for coronavirus, her actor husband Abhishek Bachchan said Monday.

The pair were admitted to hospital a week ago, several days after Abhishek and his superstar father Amitabh Bachchan, making the family the highest-profile people to contract the virus in India, which has recorded more than 1.4 million cases.

"Aishwarya and Aaradhya have thankfully tested negative and have been discharged from the hospital. They will now be at home," her husband tweeted, thanking fans for "continued prayers and good wishes".

"My father and I remain in hospital under the care of the medical staff," he added.

The actress and her eight-year-old daughter Aaradhya were initially quarantining at home before being moved to the same hospital where her 77-year-old father-in-law and his son are being treated for the illness.

She won the Miss World crown in 1994 and has since become one of the most famous faces in Bollywood and a regular on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival.

The elder Bachchan and 44-year-old Abhishek are both in the hospital's isolation ward.

No health update has been issued since they were admitted more than two weeks ago but Amitabh, an avid social media user, has been dispensing regular messages to his millions of fans on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

A blog entry posted on Saturday touched on the mental trauma and stigma suffered by coronavirus patients, referring to "the stark reality that the CoViD patient, put in hospitalised isolation, never gets to see another human".

Recovered patients "are afraid to be in public for fear or apprehension of being treated differently .. treated as one that has carried the disease .. a pariah syndrome .. driving them into deeper depression", he wrote.

The elder Bachchan, idolised in India and affectionately known as "Big B", has worked for more than half a century in the film industry.

He was voted "actor of the millennium" in a BBC online poll in 1999 and became the first Indian actor to be showcased at London's Madame Tussauds waxworks museum.

Mumbai, India's financial and film capital, has now recorded over 100,000 cases, with more than 6,000 deaths attributed to the virus.