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Western Cine Employees Association Appeals to Actors to Reduce Staff on Shoots as Covid-19 Cases Surge in Maharashtra

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The Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) has appealed to reduce staff members on the sets of film and series shooting. In an interview with The Times of India, BN Tiwari, president of FWICE, said that they are redrafting the SOPs for the artists and will be mentioning the minimum number of staff that can be on set.

Tiwari said, “Actors thought that Corona had gone and started getting 10 members including bodyguards, managers, make-up people and hairstylists with them, each had more than one assistant.”

Tiwari said that in 2020, the government’s guidelines for safety during Covid-19 had mentioned that artists are encouraged to complete their make-up at home and report on sets with minimal staff. It was also advised that trials and fittings should be done at the actor’s residence and video calls should be used for other important pre-production requirements.

Tiwari’s interview comes in the wake of several Hindi film actors testing positive for Covid-19. With relaxed guidelines, shoots for several films including Bell BottomRam SetuBhool Bhulaiya 2, and others had either resumed or started. In the past month, actors like Ranbir Kapoor, Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh, R Madhavan, Kartik Aaryan have tested positive for the virus.

While Katrina Kaif announced on Instagram on Tuesday that she tested positive for Covid-19, on Sunday Akshay Kumar, who was shooting for Ram Setu, announced on Twitter that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was hospitalised. Actor Vicky Kaushal also took to Instagram on Monday to announce that he was Covid positive.

On April 1, Alia Bhatt announced that she was infected and was under home quarantine.

Maharashtra, on Monday, recorded 47,288 new cases of Covid-19. The state government, considering the growing number of cases, announced a weekend lockdown and night curfew during the weekdays from Monday to 30 April. Although theatres and drama complexes have to be shut, film and television shoots are permitted as long as they follow safety protocols.

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