Mick Jagger, Will Smith to boost India coronavirus concert

English singer, songwriter and actor Mick Jagger at the screening of the film 'The Burnt Orange Heresy' during the closing night of the 76th Venice Film Festival September 7, 2019. — AFP pic
English singer, songwriter and actor Mick Jagger at the screening of the film 'The Burnt Orange Heresy' during the closing night of the 76th Venice Film Festival September 7, 2019. — AFP pic

MUMBAI, May 2 — Rock legend Mick Jagger and Hollywood’s Will Smith will be among dozens of international and Bollywood stars taking part in a four-hour concert tomorrow to raise funds for the battle against coronavirus in India, where the number of cases is surging.

The country’s cricket captain Virat Kohli, actors Priyanka Chopra and Shah Rukh Khan are some of the top domestic names set to perform or read messages from their homes.

Organised by Bollywood directors Karan Johar and Zoya Akhtar, the show will be live-streamed by Facebook and pay tribute to workers fighting the pandemic.

It aims to raise millions of dollars for more than 100 groups providing food and other essential services during the crisis.

Concert organisers said the money was needed “for those who have no work and no home and do not know where their next meal is coming from”.

India’s 1.3 billion people have been under lockdown since March 25 with the restrictions, while recently eased, set to last until at least May 17.

The shutdown has especially hit millions of migrant workers stranded in cities with little food or money. Special trains were being organised today to help thousands of labourers finally return home.

India has so far reported 37,335 coronavirus cases and 1,218 deaths, with more than 2,000 new infections in the last 24 hours.

Experts fear a lack of testing and poor reporting procedures mean the death toll is much higher.

The government has announced a string of special activities to rally support for frontline workers.

The Indian Air Force is set to stage a flypast tomorrow and military helicopters will shower petals on hospitals caring for coronavirus patients. Navy warships will also put on a special display. — AFP

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