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Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson hospitalised in Australia with COVID-19

Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson hospitalised in Australia with COVID-19

Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson stand before her newly unveiled star after she was honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood,, California on Mar 29, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Mark RALSTON)

LOS ANGELES: Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, have both tested positive for COVID-19 in Australia, the US actor said Wednesday (Mar 11).

Hanks and Rita Wilson, both 63, are being monitored at the Gold Coast University Hospital where they are "in a stable condition", according to Queensland state health officials.

Hanks revealed the shock diagnoses in a message that informed fans they had felt tired and achy with slight fevers and wanted to get tested to "play things right."

Hanks is the first major Hollywood star to publicly state that he has the virus that has sickened more than 125,000 people worldwide and killed more than 4,600.

"To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the coronavirus, and were found to be positive," he wrote in a statement posted to social media.

"We'll keep the world posted and updated," he added, along with a photo of a surgical glove placed inside a biohazard trash bag.

The multi-Oscar-winner was on the Gold Coast for pre-production of an Elvis Presley biopic by Australian director Baz Luhrmann and Wilson had played gigs at the Sydney Opera House and in Brisbane.

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

The famed building has received additional "on-site cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectant" a spokesperson said, adding that tours and performances would continue.

Production on Hank's Elvis film - in which he was set to play the legendary singer's longtime manager, Colonel Tom Parker - has been suspended and actors and crew are also being tested.

In a video message, the Hanks' 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," he said.

"I don't think it's anything to be too worried about but I appreciate everyone's concerns and well wishes, but I think it's going to be alright."

READ: US to suspend all travel from Europe for 30 days to fight COVID-19 outbreak

ELVIS BIOPIC

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said Hanks was "tested early this morning, very early, and once everyone was in the news was delivered by Baz and then everyone went home."

"The Elvis biopic filming has been closed down. I understand it will be 14 days quarantine and testing and ... our heart goes out to Tom and his wife," Tate said in a press conference.

"All the people who were on set have gone home and self-quarantined, which includes my daughter so I gave her a call ... Being a dad that was the first thing I got onto," Tate said.

"If the test comes back negative, they'll be back to work that's where they're sitting."

Warner Bros said it had "been made aware that a company member from our Elvis feature film... has tested positive for COVID-19.

"We are working closely with the appropriate Australian health agencies to identify and contact anyone who may have come in direct contact with the individual."

It is not known where the couple contracted the disease - there have so far been more than 140 coronavirus cases confirmed in Australia and three people have died.

Wilson - who is promoting her new album Halfway to Home - gave performances at a Brisbane hotel on Mar 5 and the Sydney Opera House on Mar 7. She also appeared on a popular Australian TV show whose hosts and crew are now in quarantine.

During the visit to Australia's largest city, the couple also visited Bondi Beach. It is unknown whether they had contracted the virus by that point.

Hanks won best actor Academy Awards for his role in 1994's Philadelphia in which he plays a man stricken with AIDS, and Forrest Gump the following year. Wilson has appeared in such films as Sleepless in Seattle and Runaway Bride.

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Source: AGENCIES/aj

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