The latest film in the Singham series is among those whose production has been put on hold
The India Motion Picture Producers' Association (IMPPA) has announced that all production of films, television series, web series and filmed adverts must be suspended, starting on Thursday, until at least the 31st of March. The action is being taken in an attempt to stem the spread of Covid-19.
India is the largest producer of films in the wold, making over 1,000 every year, with an estimated total value of $182.2bn, or 7% of GDP. It directly employs around a quarter of a million people. The suspension will have an enormous economic impact, especially in Mumbai, where the Hindi language industry is centred, but also in places like Tollygunge, where most Telugu films are made.
Other industry organisations within the country have thrown their support behind the decision. Healthcare provision is poor in many parts of rural India, making its people particularly vulnerable. Around a third of Indians still don't have access to proper sanitation or reliable sources of clean water for hand washing.
Most major cities across India have already taken steps to close cinemas.