Last week brought with it a rude awakening of the rampant and insidious extent of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, especially its financial capital Mumbai, when one of the biggest Bollywood stars, Amitabh Bachchan and three members of his family tested positive for the novel contagion.
While the confirmation of infection to Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Aaradhya Bachchan dampened the spirits of millions of their admirers across the country and world, the hatred of liberals for the Bachchan family was on full display after the news of their infection was . Several well known left-liberal activists had slammed the 77-year-old actor for getting admitted at the hospital despite having ‘mild’ symptoms. Such people had even objected to sanitisation of the resident of Bachchans by the BMC, which is done for all coronavirus positive patients as a protocol.
Now, to further the claim that there was no need for Amitabh Bachchan to be admitted at Nanavati Hospital, some perverse individuals have started to spread fake news concerning his ailment, and ascribing motive behind his hospitalisation. It may be noted that Amitabh Bachchan and his son has been shifted to the hospital for treatment, while Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Aaradhya Bachchan have been quarantined at home.
Rumours behind Amitabh Bachchan’s hospitalisation
A vicious campaign was run against the iconic actor, and social media was rife with fake news, out of context videos, to smear the septuagenarian actor with known comorbidities even as he battles the scourge of coronavirus. One such malicious post that is doing the rounds on Whatsapp, Twitter and other social media platforms cast aspersions on the the actor’s affliction, alleging that Amitabh and his son have both gotten admitted themselves to Nanavati hospital so as to salvage its reputation that has recently taken the beating for its exorbitant and overcharging of bills.
The fake message that is being circulated on the Internet claims that the father-son duo, despite being asymptomatic, has been hospitalised through a pre-decided script to uplift the image of Nanavati Hospital. The message also claims that Big B, as Amitabh Bachchan is popularly known, owns 3 bungalows in Juhu which has 18 rooms, along with a “mini ICU” and 2 doctors for 24 hours. It alleges that Amitabh Bachchan got admitted to the Nanavati Hospital because he is an investor and board member of the Radiant Group which owns the Nanavati Hospital and which had recently been in the news for fleecing their patients.
Lets analyse the fake claims made by the viral message:
Is Amitabh Bachchan asymptomatic?
The viral Whatsapp message claims that Amitabh Bachchan is asymptomatic. However, this claim is patently false as the actor has himself declared in his tweet that he has mild symptoms of the infection. Besides, Amitabh is ailing from medical comorbidities, meaning he has several underlying medical complications because of which he has decided to hospitalized himself instead of home quarantine. The coronavirus is particularly lethal against the elderly and those suffering from chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, cardiovascular conditions, chronic kidney disease and other such maladies as the virus increases the risk of severe illness. Therefore, Amitabh Bachchan belongs to the high-risk group, and he has been admitted at the hospital as per protocol for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
A mini ICU at the residence of Mr Bachchan?
Another outrageous claim made in the viral message is that despite having a “mini ICU” and 2 doctors for 24 hours at his residence, Amitabh chose to get hospitalised. It is pertinent to note here that this is not the first time that Amitabh Bachchan has been hospitalised for his illness. In the past too, Mr Bachchan has been admitted to hospitals. In October 2019 last year, the legendary actor was admitted to the Nanavati Hospital for a routine checkup. If Amitabh Bachchan had to be hospitalised for a routine check-up despite apparently having a “mini ICU” at his residence, how potent that ICU actually could be to battle the coronavirus?
Amitabh Bachchan is a mega star, and every aspect of his life is well documented in media, including the houses that his family owns. But such reports never mentioned about any ‘mini-ICU’ present in any house, therefore, it can be concluded that it is a fake claim.
Amitabh Bachchan on the board of Nanavati Hospital?
The viral message also claimed that Amitabh Bachchan is an investor and on the board of the Radiant group that owns the Nanavati Hospital. However, the hospital has already put paid to the rumours asserting that the actor is not on the board of the hospital.
The hospital sources said, “The Board of Directors of Radiant Life Care or Nanavati Hospital does not have Mr Bachchan as one of its members. Someone, who is in the vulnerable age group of 65 and above, with underlying health issues showing mild symptoms can decide to admit himself based on medical advice. Let’s respect the fact that someone is unwell and is hospitalised and not make unnecessary comments. COVID can affect anyone. Better to stay safe.”
The website of Radiant mentions five board of directors, and the veteran actor is not among them.
Video of Amitabh Bachchan not from Nanavati Hospital
Besides the above-mentioned message, a video of Mr Bachchan thanking the Nanavati hospital authorities has been circulating on social media platforms with the claim that it is from the actor’s recent visit to the facility after he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Mr Bachchan can be heard in the now viral-video expressing his gratitude for the staff members of the Nanavati Hospital. “I thank the doctors, nurses and staff of Nanavati Hospital for the tremendous work that they are doing in these trying times,” he says.
The viral video was also shared by popular news organisations such as Aaj Tak and Outlook.
The video was initially shared on YouTube, from where other news organisations picked it up.
However, the video is an old one from Amitabh’s previous visit to the hospital in April. It was uploaded by the Amitabh Bachchan Fan Club on 23 April on Facebook.
Therefore, the claim that Bachchan posted the video recently after he tested positive for Coronavirus is incorrect. Moreover, even if he decides to thank the hospital, and the doctors and other staff of the hospital, it will be extremely wrong to ascribe any motive behind that. It is natural for people to thank their healthcare workers after they are cured of diseases, and one does not have to an investor in the hospital to that.
Amitabh Bachchan admitted to hospital for COVID-19
Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan was infected with the Coronavirus Saturday evening on July 11. The veteran actor took to Twitter to inform about this development about his health. He said that he has tested positive for Covid-19, and has been shifted to hospital.
His family and staff also have undergone a test, and the result for the same is awaited. Amitabh Bachchan also asked everyone who came into close proximity with him in the last ten days to get themselves tested. He has been admitted at the Nanavati hospital in Mumbai.