Australia

Tom Hanks coronavirus: Actor and wife Rita Wilson test positive

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Image copyright EPA
Image caption Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson sought tests in Australia

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks has revealed that he and wife Rita Wilson have tested positive for the new coronavirus in Australia.

Hanks and Wilson, both 63, sought medical advice after experiencing the symptoms of a cold in Queensland, the actor wrote on Instagram.

They are now isolated in stable condition at an Australian hospital, officials said.

The couple were on the Gold Coast as Hanks made a film about Elvis Presley.

Their diagnosis came shortly after the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic.

Hanks wrote on Instagram: "We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too.

"To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the coronavirus, and were found to be positive".

The Academy Award winner, whose films include Forrest Gump and Saving Private Ryan, said he and Wilson would keep the world "posted and updated".

"We Hanks' will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no?"

In 2013, the actor revealed he had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the more common form. Diabetes UK says people with the condition may experience more severe symptoms of coronavirus, and has issued advice on how to take precautions.

'In good spirits'

In a video message posted on social media, the couple's eldest son Chet said: "I just got off the phone with them, they both are fine, they're not even that sick.

"They're not worried about it, they're not tripping, but they're going through the necessary health precautions, obviously."

Colin, Hanks' son from his first marriage, said the couple were "receiving excellent care" and were "in good spirits given the circumstances".

He added that he had been "in constant contact with them and am confident that they will make a full recovery".

Work on the star's latest, untitled movie has been temporarily suspended.

Quarantine

"All the people who were on set have gone home and self-quarantined," said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.

The studio behind the film, Warner Bros, said it was "working closely with the appropriate Australian health agencies to identify and contact anyone" who may have come into direct contact with the star.

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Wilson, a singer and actress, had performed concerts at Brisbane's Emporium Hotel and the Sydney Opera House in the past week.

Opera House staff told the AFP news agency they were helping authorities track "approximately 207 people" who "may have been in contact with the couple" at the concert on Saturday.

Wilson also appeared on Channel 9's TV talk show Today Extra, whose hosts and crew are now in quarantine.

Fellow celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Reese Witherspoon and Tim Allen sent their support to the couple on social media, while singer Richard Marx said he had spoken to Wilson and she "sounds pretty good".

Actor and comedian Marlon Wayans joked in reply to Hanks' Instagram message: "DAMN YOU TOM!!! You always gotta be first. First Emmy winner, first Oscar winner, first Hollywood Coronavirus."

Meanwhile, DeGeneres announced she would film her US talk show without a studio audience for the time being "for the health of my fans, my staff and my crew".

Australia has recorded more than 130 cases of coronavirus.

Elsewhere, Italy is to close all shops except food stores and pharmacies in Europe's toughest lockdown yet as virus deaths and cases continue to mount.

US President Donald Trump has suspended all travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days from Friday.


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