As infections surge, West Bengal and Odisha suspend TV & film shoots

The shooting of 36 serials, three web series, and one film will be suspended till 31 May.

Mumbai: Struggling to combat the devastating surge in the number of Covid-19 cases, West Bengal and Odisha on Monday decided to suspend the shooting of all television shows and films with immediate effect.

The decision to suspend shooting comes as a part of stricter lockdown measures imposed in these states to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. West Bengal on Sunday reported the highest single-day Covid-19 toll with 147 deaths that pushed up the fatality count to 13,284.

The Odisha government, in its new circular, ordered the suspension of both indoor and outdoor shooting activities. Earlier, shooting was permitted in Odisha subject to permission from the local authorities. 

Federation of Cine Technicians and Workers of Eastern India President Swarup Biswas told PTI that the shooting of 36 serials, three web series, and one film will be suspended until 31 May due to the new restriction imposed by the government. 

However, Biswas requested the authorities to permit shooting in West Bengal and assured that all Covid safety procedures will be followed while filming. Thousands of people working in the industry will become unemployed due to the new order, he beseeched. "Our request will be to the chief minister Mamata Banerjee to see if something can be done so that hundreds of people involved in this profession are not rendered unemployed. It will be better if they can carry on their work following all COVID safety procedures," said Biswas. 

Biswas also added that all actors and technicians will soon undergo Covid tests so that they can keep the shooting area coronavirus-free zone. 

TV and film shooting also remains suspended in Maharashtra, Kerala and Goa which are also reeling under the second wave of Covid-19. On Saturday, RK Selvamani, the president of the Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI) said that the shooting of films and serials in Tamil Nadu will be suspended until 31 May. FEFSI made this decision after 26 members of a TV serial crew tested positive for Covid infection. 

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