Kanika Kapoor elicits mixed reactions from B-Town

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Singer Kanika Kapoor of "Baby Doll" fame on Friday announced that she has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. She might be the first Indian celebrity to have become victim of COVID-19.

It’s been over 24 hours that singer Kanika Kapoor was found to have attended several public events and high-profile parties despite testing positive for COVID-19, and Bollywood has mostly been guarded in reacting to the situation. The few responses that have come have been mixed. While some B-Town denizens have been critical of Kanika for not declaring her travel history upon arriving from the UK, a few others feel she is being unnecessarily victimised.

While Kanika was overwhelmingly criticised and trolled all through Saturday, and hashtag #KanikaKaCoronaCrime trended on Twitter, actress Sonam Kapoor came out in the singer’s defence.

“Hey guys @TheKanikakapoor came back on the 9th. India was not self isolating but playing Holi,” wrote Sonam.

While the singer continues facing flak for evading screening at the airport, Rishi Kapoor posted a tweet addressed to Taj Hotels on Friday. “Think. Chalo Delhi airport se to nikal gayi. Why an establishment like The Taj Lucknow Hotel didn’t have the facility to screen visitors? After all the Taj is a huge name and a property. Surely they could have detected!”

The official page of Taj Hotels replied: “At all our hotels, we have undertaken extensive precautionary measures including thermal screening of all guests, staff and vendors. At the time of check-in, her temperature was found to be normal. The safety and wellbeing of our guests and associates are of paramount importance.”

Reacting to the reply, Rishi Kapoor came out in Kanika’s support and, without mentioning her name, tweeted: “I appreciate, believe and respect The Taj Hotels has for all its guests regarding safety and security. Please tell this to the Media and the concerned Government. Unnecessarily the lady concerned is being victimized. With your strict measures surely she wasn’t carrying the virus.”

Unlike Rishi and Sonam Kapoor, though, not everyone in B-Town has sympathy for Kanika.

Last night, singer Sona Mohapatra came heavily on Kanika Kapoor for not being responsible enough after arriving in India from the UK earlier this month, and mingling with numerous people at several public functions despite being afflicted by the coronavirus.

“The Coronavirus will explode because India is full of irresponsible idiots who ask everything from the government but do nothing in return,” tweeted Sona.

She added: “Case in point, #KanikaKapoor hid her travel history after landing in #India (goddess knows how), attended events in Lucknow , Mumbai, went partying while staying in a 5 (star emoji) & has the virus! So all of U giving me gyan about how ‘simplistic’ PM’s speech was,was it really?#WeThePeople.”

On Friday evening, Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar released a video urging fans to stay safe in the present scenario. In a portion of the video, without taking names, he says in Hindi: “Passengers returning from their trips at Mumbai airport are being tested at the airport. Those who are found on low risk are being stamped and sent for home quarantine or at the hotel and they are being requested to maintain social distance for two weeks as a precaution. But believe it or not, despite being stamped for home quarantine, some of these passengers are not only traveling to other parts of the city but also to different parts of the country. They are attending weddings, going on vacations, going to crowded places and even attending parties. What are they thinking? What is this mentality? What are they not being able to understand?”