Any relaxation has great bearing on 2nd Covid wave: TAC

'Giving any scope for relaxation has great bearing on preventing second Covid-19 wave': TAC meeting minutes

A source privy to TAC discussions said that each setting has to be looked at differently

Representative image. Credit: DH Photo/ BH Shivakumar

Minutes of the 64th Covid-19 technical advisory committee meeting for Karnataka held on January 14, accessed by DH show that the 14-member expert committee 'strongly recommended' against 'giving any scope for lapses, relaxations'.

"This is important to consolidate the gains made so far and not to lose the momentum of containing the pandemic. This has great bearing on preventing a possible second wave of Covid-19 which is anticipated in due course of time," said the minutes of the meeting. Notwithstanding this, the government decided after a meeting with film chamber representatives, to allow 100% occupancy of theatres for four weeks.

Film industry representatives questioned that when the government can allow 500 people for marriages, birthdays and other kinds of social celebrations, why can't 100% occupancy be allowed in theatres.

A source privy to discussions said, "We have to look at each of these settings differently. A cinema theatre is a closed space with air conditioning with seats being next to each other. When you allow 50 people even in a closed space, it becomes a mini-super spreader event. This may not be the case in ceremonies or functions, which are outside or those which have better ventilation like marriage halls."

On Wednesday, actor Puneeth Rajkumar, tweeted saying, "When private functions, places of worship, public transport, markets, tourist places, are allowed to operate normally, why not movie theatres?" Actor Shiva Rajkumar tweeted, "We want 100% occupancy of our movie theatres. Actor Dhruva Sarja tweeted a poster in Kannada saying when markets are full of people, and so are buses, why is there a 50% restriction in movie theatres.

 

Information and Public Relations Minister CC Patil said the film industry in the past ten to eleven months has suffered a lot. "We have conveyed our troubles to the Chief minister and by Thursday evening we will get the government order. On Friday when movies are released, theatres can be occupied 100%. The public has as much responsibility as the theatre owners and government does. If after one month, there is any such change in the Covid scenario, there will be a review of this decision," he said.

Actor Shiva Rajkumar said, "Be it our distributors or other theatre players, we have a responsibility to keep the theatres clean and tidy. We should follow all their instructions like sanitisation, masks and appropriate temperature of the AC. The fans should also cooperate." Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce president DR Jairaj requested that in future industry stakeholders should be made a partner to any government decisions that impact them like framing of SOPs that are applicable to them.