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Indian cinemas restart after months of eclipse by the virus

11:07 PM PDT 10/14/2020


Associated Press

Seven months later, cinemas opened on Thursday in the world’s second most populous country.

After seven months of total blackout, cinemas reopened on Thursday in several parts of India with several older tent titles and performances limited to half capacity.

The reopening of cinemas comes at a time when the confirmed Indian coronavirus has exceeded 7.3 million. The country is recording the most daily cases worldwide and is expected to become the worst-hit country in the pandemic in the coming weeks, surpassing the United States.

Nearly 1

0,000 cinemas closed in mid-March following restrictions on the coronavirus. They will now become one of the last few public places to reopen outside high-risk areas. But they still pose some of the biggest risks of infection: the virus can easily spread indoors.

To minimize danger, the seats are split. Display time will be allocated and digital payments will be encouraged. Masks and temperature checks are mandatory.

“We have put everything in its place, perhaps more than prescribed. The whole point of contact of the cinema is equipped with antimicrobial films, “said Gagan Kapoor, regional director of PVR Cinemas in New Delhi.

Some Indian states are cautious.

Authorities in Mumbai, the home of Bollywood, are postponing the reopening of cinemas for now. Southern Maharashtra, whose capital is Mumbai, is the hardest hit country, with nearly 37% of COVID-19 deaths in the country.

However, the reopening of cinemas elsewhere is coming, as trends suggest a decline in new infections.

India jumped in July, adding more than 2 million in August and another 3 million in September. But there has been a slower spread of the coronavirus since mid-September, when daily infections reached a record high of 97,894. So far this month, it has averaged just over 70,000 cases a day.

But some experts say calculations in India may not be reliable due to poor reporting and inadequate health infrastructure. India also relies heavily on antigen tests, which are faster but less accurate than traditional RT-PCR tests.

Health officials have warned of the possibility of the virus spreading during the religious festival season, which begins later this month.

“The next 2 1/2 months will be very crucial for us in our fight against the crown because of the winter season and the festival season,” Health Minister Harsh Vardan said on Wednesday. appropriate behavior of COVID-19 to limit the spread of infection. “

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