Mumbai: Just when the theatrical business was limping back to normal, a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases has once again put a halt to the recovery plans, with fresh restrictions across several states. On Tuesday, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) announced the closure of cinema halls and multiplexes across the national capital with immediate effect.
The decision was taken after Delhi recorded the highest single-day spike in Covid-19 cases since 9 June. As many as 331 fresh cases and one death was reported on Tuesday, while the positivity rate mounted to 0.68 per cent.
Soon after the announcement, the makers of actor Shahid Kapoor starrer "Jersey" issued a statement regarding their decision to postpone the release of the film to a later date. The sports drama based on the life of a middle-aged cricketer who returns to the game for the love of his child was set to be released in theatres on 31 December.
"In view of the current circumstances and new Covid guidelines, we have decided to postpone the theatrical release of our film 'Jersey.' We have received immense love from you all so far and want to thank you all for everything. Until then everyone please stay safe and healthy, and wishing you all the best for the new year ahead,” said the makers in a statement.
Apart from cinemas, and theatres, schools, colleges as well as gyms have been directed to close with immediate effect. The restrictions have also been put on the functioning of shops, and public transport as a yellow alert was sounded under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in Delhi. Under the 'yellow' alert restrictions, shops and establishments of non-essential goods and services and malls will open based on odd-even formula from 10 a.m to 8 p.m.
Also, the Delhi Metro will run at 50 per cent of its seating capacity, and buses too will ply at 50 per cent of capacity with exempted category passengers. Private offices can function with up to 50 per cent of the staff. “As the Covid-19 positivity rate has been above 0.5 per cent for the past few days, we are enforcing Level-I (Yellow alert) of the Graded Response Action Plan. A detailed order on restrictions to be implemented will be released soon,” said Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, adding that the decision was taken after a high-level meeting on Tuesday.
According to the health ministry, India has logged 653 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus across 21 states and UTs so far out of which 186 people have recovered or migrated. Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of 167 cases followed by Delhi at 165, Kerala 57, Telangana 55, Gujarat 49 and Rajasthan 46.