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Coronavirus update: Cinemas in Australia, New Zealand shut; China to reopen screenings

China is preparing to reopen theatres with screenings of past hits.

Suyog Zore

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak in Australia and New Zealand has seen a spike in the last five-six days. As a precautionary measure, governments of both countries have taken some drastic measures to curb the spread of the virus.  

On Sunday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison ordered all non-essential services to shut down. Pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes, gyms, and places of worship all closed, following restrictions on indoor gathering announced by the Prime Minister. Australia has so far reported 1,609 positive cases of coronavirus.

Cinema operators in New Zealand, many of which are owned by Australian companies, followed suit, shutting their doors on Monday. There is a lockdown on non-essential indoor and outdoor services, including schools, over the next 48 hours in the country. 

On the other hand, life in China is returning to normalcy. The country's National Health Commission on Saturday said that no new domestic cases of COVID-19 have been discovered in the last three days. After weeks of being in a state of lockdown, cinema halls in China are preparing to reopen with screenings of past hits and a 4K restoration of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

The global death toll of coronavirus has gone up to 11,397, with more than 275,427 cases reported in over 160 countries and territories. Italy has overtaken China as the worst hit, with over 5,476 deaths being reported so far.

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