Indian cinemas reopen amid fewest coronavirus deaths in 11 weeks | Arts and Culture News | Al Jazeera

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After a power outage for nearly seven months, the cinema reopened on the day when India reported its lowest number of deaths in a single day in the past three months.

After seven months of power outages, the country’s cinemas in India have reopened because the country’s reported daily increase in the number of deaths from the coronavirus is the lowest in 11 weeks.

The Ministry of Health of India reported that there were 680 deaths in the past 24 hours, the lowest number in nearly three months, which brought the number of deaths in the country to 111,266 since the pandemic began.

There were more than 1,000 virus-related deaths every day in the country last month. The ministry also reported 67,708 new infections, increasing the total number in India to more than 7.3 million.

India is the country with the most daily cases in the world, and it is expected that in the next few weeks, India will become the country with the worst pandemic, surpassing the United States.

In March, due to coronavirus restrictions, nearly 10,000 Indian theaters were closed. Now they will be one of the last public places to reopen outside high-risk areas.

To minimize the risk of infection, the seats have been separated. The exhibition time will be staggered to encourage digital payment. A mask and temperature check must be performed.

"We have put all the content in place, perhaps beyond the regulations. Antibacterial films are provided throughout the touch points of the cinema," said Gagan Kapur, head of the PVR cinema area in the capital of New Delhi.

Maharashtra is the worst-hit state in India, among which Mumbai-the seat of Bollywood-Mumbai is the capital, and India's COVID-19 death toll is nearly 37%.

INOX Leisure Ltd, India’s second-largest integrated cinema operator, said that the chain will only show old movies.

"Currently, we are working hard to restore people's confidence by letting people know that the cinema is safe," said Lalit Ojha, the company's regional director.

So far, nervous producers have not arranged any big ticket releases. After the pandemic closed, many producers pushed their films directly to streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney + Hotstar.

Ojha said: “We hope that Diwali will shine.” He was referring to the Hindu music festival next month, which is usually a fortune for theaters and retail companies.

Although analysts pointed out that thousands of movie enthusiasts have a pent-up demand for big-screen experiences-India released nearly 1,800 versions in 2018, but many people may not just take risks just to watch old movies.

"This is a vicious circle-unless there is fresh content, people will not come to the cinema. Film producer analyst Komal Nahta told AFP that the producer cannot guarantee before the film is shown. The video will do well.

He said: "In the end, someone will have to take a risk and release an exciting movie."

According to reports, a small number of producers are ready to take risks, and at least one Hindi film "Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari" will be released on November 13 (Diwali weekend).

According to media reports, top Bollywood producer Aditya Chopra is also preparing to release Bunty Aur Babli 2, which was a popular sequel in 2005.

But Indian health officials have warned that the virus may spread during the holiday season later this month.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday: “Due to winter and holiday season, the next two and a half months will be crucial to our fight against corona.”

"Every citizen has the responsibility not to relax their vigilance and follow the appropriate behavior of COVID-19 to curb the spread of infection."

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