Hollywood production springs back to life with new COVID-19 measures on set

UNTV News   •   July 14, 2020   •   119

Members of Hollywood’s film community are back at work after safety guidelines were approved by the state of California.

One of the first productions, “7th & Union,” began filming after being approved to proceed by the acting union, SAG AFTRA. The filmmakers claim the production is one of only two to get the green light.

“We’re one of the first to go filming here in Los Angeles and it’s been kind of a trial and error,” said the film’s producer Christopher Acebo, adding “SAG AFTRA has been wonderful to work in terms of the process but we’ve had to set up various guidelines and safety based on the guidelines that came out, maybe, two or three weeks ago from the state of California.”

“It’s been a learning process, obviously. We have a situation where we are making a movie and also having to wear masks, also having to stay six feet away from each other, as well as adhere to a variety of safety protocols and temperature checks in the morning and also everybody on set getting tested for COVID,” Acebo said.

The filmmakers deliberately drew up their production schedule to leave extra time for anything unexpected and also kept scenes as simple as possible.

Acebo said, “Part of what we are doing right now is we are doing a lot of the smaller scenes, the scenes that require the least amount of cast members at first and then we’re in open space and open locations so that’s also been really, really helpful in terms of the shape of the film and how we’re able to keep safety and how that shape of the film is working.”

The safety protocols aren’t the only thing that has changed on the set; the new power hierarchy means safety monitors who patrol the set have the final say in ensuring everybody is working to the guidelines.

“Right now our safety monitors have the power to stop our filming. If someone doesn’t feel safe, if someone doesn’t feel that someone else is complying with the rules that have been set up, they can speak with the EMT or the COVID manager and we have to stop and deal with that issue as it comes up, so they kind of do have ultimate authority on the space that we’re occupying right now,” Acebo said.

“7th & Union,” which is an immigrant story about an unlikely friendship, is aiming to wrap production within the next fortnight with the film to be completed by October. (Reuters)

(Production: Sandra Stojanovic/Rollo Ross)

India’s interior minister tests positive for coronavirus, hospitalised

UNTV News   •   August 3, 2020

India’s Interior Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday (August 2) that he had tested positive for coronavirus and had been admitted to hospital.

Amit Shah, a close aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and one of the country’s most powerful politicians, heads a key ministry that has been at the forefront of managing India’s coronavirus outbreak.

“I request all of you who came in contact with me in the last few days to isolate yourselves and get tested,” Shah said in a tweet.

India has 1,695,988 confirmed cases and 36,511 deaths due to coronavirus as of August 2, according to a Reuters tally. (Reuters)

(Production: Polly Rider, Michael Fiorentino)

All people should take precautions against COVID-19: WHO chief

UNTV News   •   July 31, 2020

Every age group should take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others from being infected with COVID-19, stated the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) during a press conference on Thursday.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also acknowledged that long-term care facilities are being hit hard by the coronavirus in many countries.

“In many countries, more than 40 percent of COVID-19-related deaths have been linked to long-term care facilities and up to 80 percent in some high-income countries,” said Tedros.

He stated that although seniors are vulnerable to COVID-19, young people face the same risk of being infected.

In some countries, the number of cases increased because young people relaxed their vigilance and didn’t follow precautionary measures.

“Young people are not invincible. Young people can be infected. Young people can die. And young people can transmit the virus to others. That’s why young people must take the same precautions to protect themselves and protect others as everyone else,” said Tedros.

As of 18:03 Central European Summer Time on Thursday, there have been 16,812,755 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 662,095 deaths, reported the WHO. (Reuters)

Tokyo could declare new emergency if coronavirus worsens

UNTV News   •   July 31, 2020

Tokyo could declare a state of emergency if the coronavirus situation in the Japanese capital deteriorates further, its governor warned on Friday (July 31).

Yuriko Koike said Tokyo had confirmed 463 new cases on Friday – another single-day record – and implored residents to follow health guidelines to contain the spread of the virus.

“If the situation worsens, Tokyo would have to think about issuing its own state of emergency,” Koike told a news conference.

The Japanese government lifted the nationwide state of emergency in late May after Japan appeared to have contained the outbreak, touting its mask-wearing habits and health system as some of the factors that helped it fare better than Europe and the United States.

But the virus has made a worrying resurgence. The number of daily new cases in Japan hit a new record on Thursday (July 30), with infections spreading rapidly not only in Tokyo but also in other regions. (Reuters)

(Production: Akira Tomoshige, Hideto Sakai)

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