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Films, TV & digital shows to halt productions due to coronavirus this month

Films, television shows and digital programmmes are set for a huge impact this week after it was confirmed that the Federation of Western Indian Cine Employees (FWICE) and Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) will halt productions from 19th March to 31st March.

“Important bodies of film and entertainment industry met today to deal with the issue of coronavirus. After a lot of discussion, we came to this conclusion that from this coming Thursday, all shootings will stop till March 31. After that, we will take a call,” Ashoke Pandit, president of IFTDA, told reporters.

“We have given a gap till Thursday so that people get ready accordingly, pack up and return from outstation. Our TV industry is an important one and even they will get time to organise things,” he added.

“We have also decided that all our sets, despite not being used, will be sanitised, cleaned. Every production house, with their members, will constantly take care of the sets. The daily wages of the workers will be affected so we have decided that they will be taken care of by all the producers’ associations and federations. We will take care of them,” he added.

Kulmeet Makkar, Chief Executive Officer, Producers Guild of India, said in a statement, “The health and safety of our colleagues is of paramount importance to the Producers Guild of India. The industry”s united decision to suspend shooting between the period March 19 to 31 is the need of the hour and we fully support it.”

“In the coming days, we will discuss the details with our members on the modalities of postponing our production plans, keeping in mind the on-going threat of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and take further decisions accordingly,” Makkar added.

JD Majethia, chairman, TV wing, IFTPC, said, “Precautions were duly taken and more precautions will be out in place till Wednesday. We have put up posters to spread awareness, have provided masks and even given the option of paid leaves for anyone who feels sick. All measures are in place.”

“There will be losses but we all are standing united… All the broadcasters are very sensitive. They care about their workers as well. This is a pandemic so everyone is concerned. It’s their call what they want to air ahead but they have time to finish their work till Wednesday,” he added.

In terms of films, ‘Sooryavanshi’ and ‘Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar’ have shifted their release dates. The shoot of Shahid Kapoor’s ‘Jersey’ was also halted on Saturday due to the illness.