I & B minister Prakash Javadekar has released guiding principles and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to contain spread of COVID-19 during shootings. The document taken out by the I & B ministry is as under:
Given the current COVID-19 outbreak in India, it is important that various stakeholders involved in the activities of media production take suitable measures to restrict transmission of the virus while conducting their operations and activities.
2.1 This document outlines guiding principles conveyed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) which are applicable for activities permitted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as per MHA orders issued under Disaster Management Act, 2005 from time to time. These guiding principles are followed by domain-specific Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be ensured during activities of Media Production to prevent spread of COVID-19.
2.2 No media production activity shall be allowed in containment zones.
2.3 Further, States/UTs may consider proposing additional measures as per their field assessment.
3. Guiding Principles
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has following guiding principles:
a) Non-essential activities shall not be allowed in containment zones for COVID-19.
b) All employees who are at higher risk, i.e. older employees, pregnant employees, employees who have underlying medical conditions, to take extra precautions. They should preferably not be exposed to any front-line work requiring direct contact with the public.
c) Use of face covers/masks at all public and work places to be made mandatory. [However, this is subject to domain-specific SOP on Media Production at para 4 (v) (a).]
d) Practice frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be made wherever feasible.
e) Provisions for hand sanitization (using hand sanitizers) should be made available at entry points and in work areas.
f) Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.
g) Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
h) Installation and use of Arogya Setu App shall be advised to all.
i) Thermal screening of visitors/staff is to be carried out at entry points and only asymptomatic individuals shall be allowed to enter the premises.
j) Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible at all locations at all times, while sitting, standing in queues, etc.
k) Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premises — duly following social distancing norms shall be ensured.
l) Specific markings may be made with sufficient distance to manage the queue and ensure social distancing in the premises.
m) Provisions must be made for display of posters/standees/AV media on preventive measures about COVID-19 prominently outside and inside of the venues.
n) Seating arrangement, if any, to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained.
o) No-contact transaction (for issue/verification of tickets, etc.) should be preferred by using online bookings, use of e-wallets, QR code scanners, if feasible.
p) Number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining social distancing norms.
q) Frequent sanitization of the entire work place, common facilities, and all points which come into human contact, eg. handles, railings, etc. shall be ensured. Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.
r) Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest.
s) For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which, inter alia, emphasizes that the (i) temperature sitting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30°C, (ii) relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%, (iii) re-circulation of air to be avoided to the extent possible, (iv) intake of fresh air should be as much as possible, and (v) cross ventilation should be adequate.
t) Suitable provisions may be made for temporary isolation of any suspect case that may get reported.
4. SOPs related to Media Production
In addition to the Guiding Principles issued by MoHFW at para 2 above, following guidelines shall also be adhered to for Media Production:
i. Physical distancing
a. Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible at all locations at all times, while sitting, standing in queues, etc. These include places such as shoot locations, sound recording studios, editing rooms, etc.
b. Aspects such as scenes, sequences, set-ups, camera locations, positions of various crew members, seating arrangements, food and catering arrangements, staggered meal timings, etc. shall be planned while giving due consideration to physical distancing norms.
c. Measures shall be taken by the production team to involve minimum number of cast and crew members during the shoot.
d. Visitors and audience shall not be allowed on sets.
e. For outdoor shooting, necessary coordination with the local authorities shall be ensured to minimize and manage the spectators.
f. Resting or stay-over facilities shall be planned while adhering to physical distancing guidelines.
g. Staggered call and pack-up timings for different production units shall be ensured by studios having multiple sets.
ii. Designated Entry & Exit
There shall be designated entry and exit points for all shoot locations and other work places.
a. Common locations such as sets, cafeteria, make-up rooms, edit rooms, vanity vans, washrooms, etc. shall be sanitized regularly.
b. Sensitive equipment, while keeping in consideration the delicate nature and technical feasibility, shall be sanitized, to the extent possible, before and after the shooting.
c. Measures for the safety of sanitization staff such as adequate provisions for rational use of gloves, boots, masks, PPE, etc. shall be undertaken.
iv. Human Resource related measures
a. As far as possible, the practice of work from home should be followed.
b. Communication and training on precautions related to COVID-19 shall be conducted with the cast, crew, and all other staff.
c. Do’s and don’ts shall be communicated at prominent points at the work place using information boards, posters, and infographics.
v. Contact Minimization
a. Face cover/masks are mandatory for cast and crew, except for actors in front of the camera.
b. Sharing of costumes, hair wigs, makeup items, equipment, etc. should be kept at a minimum.
c. Make-up artistes and hair stylists shall use relevant PPE. Artistes should be encouraged to do their hair styling and make-up remotely with the help of professionals.
d. Persons handling or working with common/shared equipment shall wear disposable gloves. Efforts should be made to encourage wearing of gloves among other members of the cast and crew as well.
e. Lavalier lapel mics may be avoided and shall never be shared. Direct physical contact with the diaphragm of other mics shall be avoided.
f. Efforts shall be made to minimize the use of props. Sanitization of props shall be done before and after use.
vi. Supervisor/COVID Coordinator
A designated supervisor shall be nominated from among the cast and the crew. (S)he shall:
a. Keep record of the zone (Red/Orange/Green) where the workplace exists.
b. Ensure that all concerned have installed and updated Arogya Setu app on their mobiles.
c. Monitor the contacts between various personnel, observance of precautions and sanitation protocols.
d. Keep a record of the medical history, travel history and a check on health of the cast and crew.
e. Identify hospitals/clinics/testing facilities, in the nearby areas, which are authorized to treat and/or test suspect COVID-19 cases. (S)he shall contact the nearest health facility in case of health contingencies such as any person developing symptoms of COVID-19.
f. Earmark quarantine areas for isolating employees showing symptoms of COVID-19 till they are safely moved to medical facilities.
g. Support the health authorities for contact tracing in case of contingencies.
vii. Anti-stigma Behaviour
COVID-19 related stigmatization or unruly behaviour shall be dealt with strictly in coordination with the local authorities.
Travel related guidelines and SOPs issued by the MHA, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Railways, state governments, etc. shall be adhered to strictly.
Suitable provisions may be made for temporary isolation of any suspect case that may get reported.
Latest ‘Guidelines for Running of Air Circulation, Air cooling and Air Conditioning Equipment during COVID-19’ as issued by the Central Public Works Department shall be followed. Currently applicable guidelines are available at https://cpwd.gov.in/WriteReadData/other_cir/45567.pdf.
5. The National Directives for COVID-19 Management and the relevant guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, state governments, etc. shall be strictly complied with during all activities and operations.