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Bollywood halts production over COVID-19 fears

17 March 2020, MVT 15:37
17 March 2020, MVT 15:37

Numerous factions within the Indian film industry, better known as Bollywood, have halted work in response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

Presently, several on-going teledramas have temporarily ceased production over concerns and wish to self-isolate with many broadcasters making formal announcements that all shooting will halt from March 19 until the end of the month.

The movement was led by Producers Guild of India and Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA).

Industry leaders highlighted the closure of Cinema Halls along with related institutes, and emphasized the need to prioritize health and safety for all workers in the film industry and cinema-goers alike.

Press releases also note that the measures would in kind affect release dates of productions scheduled for this year.

Stopped productions include major pictures such as 'Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai' produced by and starring Salman Khan, 'Laal Singh Chaddha' produced by Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao and directed by Advait Chandan starring the former, Akshay Kumar's 'Prithviraj' as well as Ranbir Kapoor and Karan Johar's 'Brahmāstra: Part One of Three'.

In addition to Bollywood's Hindi-speaking movies, work across the Indian Film Industry including the vast amount of largely popular Tamil, Telugu and Malayathi-speaking productions, have also reportedly ground to a temporary halt

Earlier this month, Bollywood also called off its Oscars night, the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards, over the COVID-19 outbreak.

Organisers of the Indian cinema's biggest awards ceremony said they had to postpone the three-day event because of the "sensitivity" of the mounting health crisis.

The Indian government has warned against holding mass gatherings because of the virus, which has infected 129 people in the country so far and caused 3 fatalities. Many conferences, celebrations for next week's Holi religious festival and public events have been cancelled in recent days.

WHO has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 182,609 and claimed over 7,171 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 79, 883 have recovered.

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