Patrons storm Malegaon theater screening 'Mumbai Saga,' violate COVID-19 guidelines
After being shut for almost a year due to the coronavirus pandemic and the related restrictions, theaters have finally opened for the audiences. But the over-enthusiastic approach of some cinegoers in Malegaon, Mumbai, has caught the internet's attention for the wrong reasons. A bunch of people broke barricades and entered the city's Mohan Theater to watch Mumbai Saga, as bystanders cheered them on.
Almost no one in the crowd was wearing face masks
The incident that was captured on camera and widely circulated showed a bunch of people, pushing each other, and entering the cinema complex by force. A huge crowd was gathered outside Mohan Theater, one of the most famous halls in Malegaon, when suddenly some of them started climbing the barricades. What shocked netizens even more was that none in the crowd had face masks.
Many questioned this gross violation of COVID-19 guidelines
After the video went viral, many questioned this gross violation of COVID-19 guidelines. Others condemned the "reckless" behavior in the midst of a COVID-19 surge, especially in Maharashtra. Shilpa Shetty's husband, businessman Raj Kundra took a dig at the video saying, "Looks like this cinema is guaranteeing a covid FREE experience (sic)." To recall, theaters were allowed to function in full capacity from February.
Second wave has come, COVID cases are surging in Maharashtra
The incident drew even more ire because Maharashtra is experiencing a huge spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, in what has been dubbed by many as the 'second wave' of the virus. The state government has also imposed night curfews and are taking measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. On Sunday, the state reported over 30,000 cases, the highest single day spike.
Theaters were shut due to the pandemic for a year
In September, the Centre eased some restrictions allowing cinema halls to work at a reduced capacity (50%), but not many released during that time. Last week's outing Roohi was the first big film to hit the theaters, after the 100% capacity was allowed. Many have now lined up their big films for release, but the rising cases have again become a point of worry.