Light At The End of the Tunnel: China Reopens More Than 500 Cinemas

Over the weekend, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that many non-essential services would be closed as of midday, March 23 due to the coronavirus.

The decision meant that all pubs, club, gyms, cinemas and places of worship would close, with restaurants and cafes remaining open — with only takeaway services permitted.

And just as we are beginning to feel the full effects of what is to come for Australia, 7,448 km away, in the country where COVID-19 was first discovered, a huge milestone has taken place. A bright, shining light at the end of the tunnel.

According to Variety, more than 500 cinemas have reopened in China due to a receding trend with the coronavirus outbreak.

While the box office takings are minimal, State media China Global Television Network (CGTN) reported that 486 cinemas were open for business as of Friday, March 20 and on Monday, March 23 — the number had risen to 507.

Theatres have opened in five provinces: Xinjiang; Shangdong, Sichuan, Fujian and Guangdong.

Films predominantly being showed are classics, with Warner Bros using its Chinese social media site to tease Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone.

On March 23, China reported no new local cases of coronavirus, however, confirmed 39 infections brought in from overseas.

In Wuhan, the epicentre of the disease, nine deaths were recorded, however, they have not registered any new cases for five consecutive days.

On December 31 last year, China alerted the World Health Organisation (WHO) to several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan.

At the time of publication, China had a total of 81,093 cases with 3,270 deaths and 72,703 recoveries.