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Maharashtra shuts all TV, film shoots till 1 May

The state worst affected by the second wave of Covid2019 has announced strict restrictions.

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New Delhi: With no slowdown in sight in the surge of Covid2019 cases, the Maharashtra government has decided to shut down all ongoing television and film shooting from 8 pm on Wednesday. The restrictions will remain in effect till 7 am on 1 May.

The state is grappling with an alarming rise in the number of Covid2019 infections and has the maximum caseloads, more than any other state, amidst the second wave tearing through the country. Chief minister Udhav Thackeray said the current situation was “scary”, with hospitals across the state battling with acute shortage of beds, oxygen cylinders and lifesaving drugs.

Thackeray stopped short of using the term ‘lockdown’, but said only essential activities and services will be permitted to operate for the next two weeks. The government has announced closure of all schools, colleges, restaurants, hotels, cinema halls, theatres, multiplexes, gyms, sports complex, amusement parks and all religious places. E-commerce will be allowed for the delivery of goods. Section 144 will be imposed across the state from 8 pm Wednesday till 7 am on 1 May.

Television producers and broadcasters who were already reeling under the economic fallout of the pandemic will now have to face the challenge of running daily shows amid these strict restrictions. Several TV and film shoots have already been bearing the brunt of the pandemic during the last two weeks, with an increasing number of artists and staff members testing positive for Covid2019.

Shooting of TV shows like Wagle Ki Duniya, Anupamaa and films like Gangubai Kathiawadi, Mr Lele, Ram Setu were halted after several Covid-positive cases were reported on the sets. The Indian Film and Television Producers Council (IFTPC) had also been urging the producers to ensure their staff is being regularly tested for Covid2019. The government had already announced the closure of cinema halls and multiplexes last week.

The cases and fatalities have peaked sharply in Maharashtra over the last few weeks with as many as 60,000 cases being reported daily. The state has already lost as many as 58,000 lives to the pandemic. The capital city of Mumbai has reported as many as 7,898 new positive cases on Tuesday and reported 26 deaths, taking the total number of positive cases to 5,35,017.

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