Even as coronavirus cases zoom past last year’s records in Maharashtra, some film lovers will stop at nothing to be back inside a movie hall. On Sunday, a video of a large crowd of film lovers was shared on social media, raising new concerns for the safety of film patrons and those around them.
The video showed a wild crowd of people jumping fences to enter a cinema hall in Malegaon, near Nashik in Maharashtra. The cinema was screening John Abraham and Emraan Hashmi’s.
The around 100-strong crowd pushed the fence and later jumped over it. With not many wearing masks and none following social distancing protocols, a few men even ended up ‘surfing’ the crowd. Reacting to the video, businessman Raj Kundra said, “Looks like this cinema is guaranteeing a covid FREE experience. An Instagram user said, “I can see Coronavirus by naked eyes itself.””Why ppl are behaving so reckless ? In a way or other they are inviting the deadly virus and may b its new strains,” said another.
Maharashtra on Sunday reported 30,535 fresh Covid-19 cases, the highest rise in a single day, the state health department said. With this, the state’s overall tally of the infections mounted to 24,79,682 while 99 fatalities pushed the toll to 53,399, it said.
The fresh spike in the cases came just three days after Maharashtra recorded its highest rise in a single day at 25,833. The previous highest spike was 24,896 in September 2020. A statement from the Health department said 11,314 patients were discharged during the day, taking the overall count of recoveries in Maharashtra to 22,14,867.
Mumbai reported 3,779 fresh Covid-19 cases in the day while ten patients succumbed to the viral infection, taking the overall tally to 3,62,675 while the toll mounted to 11,586, it said.
Mumbai Saga released this Friday in theatres across the country. It is one of the first big films to get a theatrical release after the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s directive to allow cinema halls to operate at 100% capacity.
Earlier, John had said that he did not want a non-theatrical release for his film. Speaking to Mid-Day, John said that when he heard about there being a conversation regarding releasing the film on Amazon Prime, he had a chat with Bhushan Kumar and director Sanjay Gupta. “(The film) won’t make as much money as movies did in 2019. All theatres across the country haven’t opened, but with this film, a few more will. After we announced this film, five more movies were announced (or theatrical run),” he said.