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COVID-19: Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson test positive while shooting Elvis movie

“Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

COVID-19 has just been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, with the number of cases outside of China increasing 13-fold in the past two weeks. As of 6pm, 11 March 2020, the global number of confirmed cases stands at 119,260, with 80,958 from China. The impact of the coronavirus outbreak has certainly been wide-ranging, with various sectors affected by travel restrictions—Italy is even in a state of total lockdown. Now, a famous name has added himself to the list of those infected: Tom Hanks, along with his wife, Rita Wilson.

The American actor and his wife were filming Baz Luhrmann’s still-untitled Elvis Presley movie, when Hanks shared the news over Instagram.

The high profile couple will be in quarantine after Hanks and Wilson felt the onset of cold symptoms, with the couple to be “tested, observed, and isolated” according to medical protocols. On Thursday morning, the cast and crew of the Elvis movie were notified via email to stay away forum the set, with production of the Luhrmann film initially supposed to begin the following Monday.

Warner Bros—the studio behind the film—has emphasised that the “health and safety of our company members is always our top priority, and we are taking precautions to protect everyone who works on our productions around the world.” In the movie, Hanks will be playing the role of Colonel Tom Parker, who was Elvis’ well-known manager in the 50s—Parker was known for his ability to market Elvis during his heyday.

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The Oscar-winning actor and his wife aren’t panicking at the moment, if the Instagram post is anything to go by:

“Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no?”

On the local front, 149 cases have already been confirmed, with no deaths reported. The outbreak continues to grow in Italy, with 10,149 cases of the coronavirus reported, along with 631 deaths. Italy is in a state of total lockdown, and the Serie A (Italy’s premier football league) has been suspended—Daniele Rugani, an Italy international and Juventus player, has already tested positive for COVID-19.

For now, the public is advised by the Malaysian Ministry of Health to take precautionary measures: wear a face mask in crowded places, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap, avoid crowded places, and remember to cover your mouth when coughing. In general, you should also avoid touching wild animals and sick people as well.


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