It is no secret anymore how the COVID-19 situation has led to unprecedented times and continues to keep getting worse lately. As we know, Mumbai is suffering from a 15-day lockdown and this has led to many TV shows temporarily shifting their base to different cities. Talking about it, leading actors like Pooja Banerjee (Kumkum Bhagya), Anjum Fakih (Kundali Bhagya), Megha Ray (Apna Time Bhi Aayega) Srishti Jain (Hamariwali Good News) and Neha Marda (Kyun Rishton Mein Katti Batti) opened up on this decision.
Banerjee said, “While I understand that we need to break the chain and stop the spread of the virus and I completely support the Government's decision of canning shoots, there is a sizeable set of daily wage earners who rely entirely on the entertainment industry for their livelihood and hence the show must go on. Coming to Kumkum Bhagya, I am happy that we're continuing to work by shifting base to Goa, and we shall continue to entertain our audience. I'll miss Sandeep (her husband) a lot. We will be creating a bio-bubble in Goa, which I feel will be much safer because we will not be meeting anyone else other than the people on shoot, who will be regularly tested as well. So, I believe it will actually be safer than shooting in Mumbai."
Ray said, “I believe the Maharashtra Government’s decision to stop all shoots in the state is a necessary inconvenience that we, as entertainment industry insiders, have to respect in the best interests of a much larger cause. But, I believe there is hope for all of us as many production houses have been looking for alternatives to continue the shoot in some way and minimize the impact on the show as well as the teams associated with it. That’s what the makers of my show, Apna Time Bhi Aayega have opted for, we are going to be shooting in Goa and I am looking forward to this new experience of shooting in a Bio-Bubble. I plan to be way more cautious than before since I have closely witnessed what COVID 19 feels like recently and while I know that it is definitely going to be a challenge, this also seems like the safest alternative to keep the show up and running.”
Fakih said, "Yes we are moving our shoot location to Goa for a couple of weeks owing to the lockdown and the shoot restrictions that have been declared in Maharashtra. With the rising number of cases around us, everyone is at a risk. But life must go on and we cannot halt the shoots indefinitely as we are committed to bringing our viewers their daily dose of entertainment. Also, shoots are a source of basic livelihood for a lot of crew members. Hence, the team has decided to move the location and follow all the safety protocols while we continue to shoot in Goa till the restrictions on shooting are lifted in Mumbai.”
Marda said, "Since shoots are being stalled in Maharashtra, we will be shooting in Surat by taking every necessary precaution. All the crew members, staff, and actors have taken COVID tests before traveling. As we all know that cases are rising at an alarming rate every day, we have to ensure that we act responsibly and avoid contributing towards the spread of the virus. I appeal to everyone to wear masks, sanitize hands, maintain social distancing and stay safe!”
Jain said, "An actor's job is tough and demanding. While we were taking due precautions and trying our best to be safe, the pandemic scenario has continued to deteriorate in the state of Maharashtra. I believe the current lockdown will help get the pandemic back in control and break the chain of transmission. Meanwhile, our show is heading to Haryana where we will shoot in the safe confines of a bio bubble so that we can still entertain our audiences. It’ll be a change of scene and welcome break for all of us who haven’t travelled for the longest time. While I will miss my family, I’m also looking forward to this new experience. In the meantime, I would like to tell everyone to be safe and take care of your health."
For now, we can only hope everybody stays safe and well.