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New Delhi : Media Production is a major economic activity that has contributed immensely to the GDP of India.  Given the current COVID – 19 Pandemic, it is crucial that various stakeholders involved in activities of Media Production take suitable measures to restrict the transmission of the pandemic while at the same time resuming/conducting their operations and activities.

The Ministry of I&B, in consultation with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, has prepared the Guiding Principles and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on preventive measures for Media Production. It was released on August 23, 2020, by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.

The highlights of the guiding principles include the general principles which have been given by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare including inter alia non-essential activities not allowed in the containment zone in COVID-19, employees with high risk to take extra precautions, as also use of face covers/masks, frequent hand washing, provision of hand sanitisers etc. and respiratory etiquettes specifically with regard to the Media Production, according to a PIB release.

The Ministry has formulated the general SOPs taking into consideration international practices notified in the sector including physical distancing, designated entry and exit for shoot locations, sanitisation, safety of staff, contact minimisation and following travel related guidelines issued by MHA including quarantine/isolation. Specifically, with regard to face masks, as per international practices, face mask has been made mandatory for cast and crew except for actors in front of the camera. The Guiding Principle and SOP may be used by all States, other stakeholders,and State Governments while resuming Media Production.

Releasing the guidelines,Javadekar said, “the SOP follows international norms. This will give a fillip to the industry which has been affected due to coronavirus for close to 6 months now and people will welcome this move by the Ministry.” Javadekar also said that the move is also aimed at boosting the economy as the film and television sector provides employment to large number of people. The Minister expressed hope that all the States will accept the SOP and implement it and will add to the conditions, if needed.