A day after Akshay Kumar tested positive for coronovirus, it has been confirmed that 45 crew members on the Ram Setu set have also tested positive for COVID-19. The tests were mandatory for the film to begin shooting at a new location in Mumbai from Monday. While more than 100 people were tested as a precaution, the results of 45 people came out positive. The shoot has now been stopped. The news comes amid an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the state, which forced the state government to take more stringent measures to control the spread.
Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) President BN Tiwari confirmed the news to indianexpress.com. “It is quite unfortunate that so many people have tested positive at one time. While most were junior performers, some in Akshay Kumar’s team tested positive for COVID-19. They have all been isolated and given medical attention. Akshay is also in quarantine, shooting has been postponed for the time being.
On Sunday, the Bollywood star shared her health updates on social media. Sharing that he has isolated himself at home, Akshay Kumar wrote, “I want to inform everyone that this morning I tested positive for Kovid-19. After all protocols, I have immediately isolated myself. I am under domestic quarantine and have sought necessary medical care. I would sincerely request all those who have come in contact with me to examine and take care of themselves. Back in action soon
Directed by Abhishek Sharma, Ram Setu also stars Jacqueline Fernandez and Nusrat Bharucha. The film is being bankrolled by Cape of Good Films, Abundantia Entertainment, Lyca Films and Amazon Prime Video. After shooting for Mahur in Ayodhya, Ram Setu started shooting for the film in Mumbai from 30 March.
Maharashtra has been going through a severe crisis with increasing coronovirus numbers in the last few days. It reported 57,074 cases on Sunday, the highest since last year. To break the chain, the state government has announced new restrictions, including a one-week lockdown. While film and TV units have been allowed to continue shooting over the weekend, the government has asked the production team to work with only 33 percent of the crew members. They have also been told not to shoot big dances and fight scenes.
The Maharashtra government has also asked in its new guidelines that from April 10, the cast and crew have to carry a negative RT-PCR certificate before coming for the shoot, which will be valid for 15 days. In addition, it has also encouraged the creation of a quarantine bubble for artists and staff.
Talking about the new norms, BN Tiwari of FWICE said, “It is important to keep everyone safe at the moment and we are gearing up to implement the new rules by the government. If necessary, we will hold weekend lockdowns. Can’t shoot one during. We will soon talk to the producers about how we can continue our work, while not letting our guard down. We are looking for the state government to set up an immunization center in Film City. Passes will also arrive so that most workers can reap the benefits. Also, test costs need to be brought down so that most people can be tested regularly. The past year has been really tough for junior performers and other daily wagers, And thus it is important that a balance is created where they can be safe and still earn for their families. “