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Omicron Scare: Tollywood changes Mood

Right from Chiranjeevi to Pawan Kalyan, Balakrishna and Venkatesh, all the top actors of Telugu cinema are not in a mood to be present on the sets of their upcoming films after the new cases of coronavirus due to the Omicron variant kept rising in the country. The shoots of several films have been called off in the recent week after the positive cases are reported among the crew members. Megastar decided to restrict himself to his home for the next few weeks and take up meetings through Zoom calls. Venkatesh flew to USA for a short vacation and he would return back to work once things turn normal. Balakrishna is busy with the pre-production work of his next and the shooting schedules are pushed for now.

Pawan Kalyan is back from Russia and the actor is yet to return back to work. He wanted the shoot of Hari Hara Veera Mallu to be pushed for now. Mahesh Babu is tested positive for Covid-19 and is in home isolation. Actors like NTR, Ram Charan and Allu Arjun are on a break and are spending time with family after months of hectic shoots. Several young actors of Tollywood have canceled the upcoming schedules that are planned in January and February. There are many actors and technicians tested positive for Covid-19 in the recent week. For now, the shoots of Telugu films are kept on hold and the actors will return back to work once things turn normal.

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70% of Covid cases in Telangana may be Omicron

More than 70 per cent of Covid-19 cases being detected in Telangana may be cases of Omicron as the new variant has already spread in the community, a top health official said on Thursday.

“Omicron is already in the community. Our estimates are that more than 70 per cent are Omicron cases. We cannot do genome sequencing for all,” said director of public health and family welfare Dr G. Srinivasa Rao.

The official warned that a bigger surge in cases in Telangana is likely after the Sankranti festival this month.

The official said the number of cases increased with New Year and maximum number of infections are being reported from Greater Hyderabad.

The state has witnessed a four-fold jump in the number of cases during the last five days. On Wednesday, the state reported 1,520 new infections.

Telangana had reported 1,052 new cases on Tuesday. This was after a gap of more than six months the state’s Covid tally had crossed 1,000. The positivity rate is more than three per cent.

The director of public health said in case of any symptoms people should approach the doctor instead of self medication. Reiterating that the department is geared up to tackle the third wave, he said two crore Covid testing kits and more than a crore home isolation kits were ready.

As part of the measures to tackle the third wave, the department has canceled leaves of all healthcare workers. The staff will not be granted leave for next four weeks.

Srinivasa Rao said despite the state logging hundreds of cases every day, the impact was not severe. No significant increase in hospital admissions was noted. Even those found infected by the new variant are recovering in five days.

The genome sequencing test is being conducted only for those samples collected from Covid positive among air passengers from at-risk countries and about two per cent random samples taken from the travelers coming from non-risk countries.

The state has so far reported 94 Omicron cases. Of them 43 have recovered while the remaining are currently under treatment.

Stating that the treatment protocol is not different for Omicron, the officials said there was no need to differentiate between Omicron and other variants.

Srinivasa Rao said the coming four weeks will be critical as a bigger surge is likely this month. He, however, hoped that the surge may subside in the middle of February.

He appealed to all to abide by the guidelines issued by the government to check the spread of Covid. Stating that protection from virus is in the hands of people, he said they should always wear masks, maintain social distance, frequently wash hands and take vaccines.

The health department has set the target of 100 per cent vaccination of the second dose by January 26. The state has already administered doses to 10 per cent of the children in the age group of 15-18. The department has now decided to reach out to children to give the vaccine.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Omicron Wave: Tollywood Puzzled

The makers of RRR have promoted the film on all the available platforms and made all the necessary arrangements for the release. With a heavy heart, they announced that RRR will not hit the screens on January 7th 2022 as per the plan due to the Omicron spread. There is no clarity about the new release date. The Health Experts say that the third wave would reach the peaks in February and March. A series of big-budget films like Acharya, Bheemla Nayak, Khiladi, Major, Ghani, Sarkaru Vaari Paata, F3 and others announced their release dates in the coming months.

There is no clarity about the impact of the coronavirus in the coming months. The new release date of RRR will sure disturb the lineup of films announced. The shoots of Telugu films may come to a halt if the spread of the Omicron variant is huge. Some of the trade analysts predict that Tollywood will miss two big seasons: Sankranthi and Summer for 2022 because of the third wave. For now, the Omicron variant created a lot of fear and confusion in Tollywood.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



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