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Bollywood star Akshay Kumar tests positive as virus rise in India worsens

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Bollywood star Akshay Kumar said on Sunday he tested positive for Covid-19, becoming the latest Indian celebrity to contract the virus as the vast nation battles a new wave of cases.

India reported 93,249 new daily infections on Sunday, according to data from the Ministry of Health, the largest increase since September, bringing the total number of known cases to nearly 12.5 million.

“I want to let everyone know that earlier this morning I tested positive for Covid-19,” the 53-year-old actor tweeted.

Kumar said last year that he drank cow’s urine every day to stay healthy – a practice some Hindus believe has medical benefits, including against the coronavirus.

He tweeted that he was now in home quarantine and had “sought necessary medical attention.”

Indian spin star Axar Patel announced on Saturday that he had tested positive and was isolated before the start of the lucrative Twenty20 Indian Premier League tournament.

The news came just a day after Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar said he was hospitalized as a precaution after testing positive a week earlier.

One-day infections in the country of 1.3 billion people have increased since early February, when they fell below 9,000 after peaking at nearly 100,000 in September.

Experts have warned that infections are increasing at a faster rate in India, which has the third highest number of cases in the world after the United States and Brazil, compared to last year.

Maharashtra, home to the country’s financial capital, Mumbai, has been the most affected state or territory in recent weeks.

The megalopolis of 20 million people experienced its highest single-day peak on Saturday with 9,090 new cases.

Ahead of Sunday’s figures, India had recorded more than 456,000 cases in the past seven days – a 37% increase from the previous week, according to an AFP database.

Brazil recorded more than 505,000 cases for the same period, but on a downward trend from the previous week, and the United States has reported 451,000 infections.

In neighboring Bangladesh, authorities said they plan to implement a lockdown on Monday, with the country also grappling with a sharp rise in cases.

The country announced Friday 6,830 new daily cases – the highest since the start of the pandemic – bringing the toll of infection to just over 630,000.

Public transport services are expected to be suspended, but factories will remain open, the government said on Saturday.

No other lockdown details have yet been released.

grk-sa / oho

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