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Kerala Govt Halts Shooting of Films and Television Serials as Covid Cases Surge

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Photo Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-sitting-on-chairs-inside-room-4123587/

Shooting of films and television serials in Kerala has been halted, as per a notice issued by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday, reported Manorama.

The second wave of Covid-19 that has been sweeping across the country has been setting new records daily. Thousands of people are dying due to lack of oxygen supply, hospital beds, ventilators and medicines. Kerala recorded 35,013 positive cases in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative positive cases to 15,30,390 and 5,252 deaths according to the state government data.

Theatres were shut across the country from March 2020 following a nationwide lockdown, to curb the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the Centre permitted theatres to reopen from October 2020 with 50% seating capacity, theatres in Kerala opened only in January this year.

Theatres in Kerala reopened after the state government announced a waiver of entertainment tax for cinemas from January to March and assured to reduce 50% of the fixed charges on electricity. However, many theatres were shut due to the lack of new releases. Ajagajantharam, the Malayalam action film starring Antony Varghese that was slated to release in March, postponed its release due to the lack of second shows in Kerala. According to the film’s makers, since theatres in other countries were still closed, and the number of shows in Kerala was limited, the makers decided to postpone the release date.

After India recorded a second wave of Covid-19 cases, the Kerala government on April 19 ordered all theatres and malls in the state to close by 7:30 pm and imposed night curfew from 9 pm to 5 am for  two weeks to curb the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in the state.

Meanwhile, the release dates of a number of Malayalam films have been postponed.

Chathur Mukham, the Malayalam film starring Manju Warrier, has been withdrawn from theatres owing to surging Covid-19 cases in Kerala. Similarly, Rajisha Vijayan-starrer Kho Kho which released on April 14, was withdrawn from theatres on April 20, a day after the government’s order of shutting theatres at 7.30 pm.

[Additional inputs by Chandhini R, Anusha Sundar, and Anindita Banerjee]

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