Cinema reopening: good ventilation essential, say experts

PETALING JAYA, Sept 8 (Sin Chew Daily) – There is a need for cinema operators to reinspect the standard operating procedures for their patrons when cinemas reopen.

Universiti Malaya’s public health expert Prof. Dr. Victor Hoe Chee Wai said adequate ventilation must be ensured while cinema patrons must put on face masks throughout the screening to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“With more and more people vaccinated, the number of people suffering from serious illness from the virus infection will also decrease. We will have to learn to live with the virus.

“Businesses which can adhere to strict SOPs should be allowed to resume their operations. However we must ensure that they implement certain preventive measures to stop the virus transmission. This is very important, as it will boost the confidence of the public as well as their clients.”

He told Sin Chew Daily indoor sports activities and gyms should also be allowed to resume. However, he feels that only activities with minimal physical contacts and observing social distancing such as badminton, swimming and fencing should be allowed.

“Sports activities can be indoors or outdoors. Most importantly all indoor venues must be well ventilated and only fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to take part.”

Associate Professor Dr Malina Osman (L) and Prof. Dr. Victor Hoe Chee Wai.

UPM public health expert (epidemiology and biostatistics) Associate Professor Dr Malina Osman agrees that it is relatively safe to reopen cinemas as almost the whole adult population of Klang Valley has been fully vaccinated and only those fully vaccinated are allowed to go into a cinema.

She believes other indoor entertainment venues will also reopen gradually on economic considerations.

She nevertheless does not think that saliva droplets and perspiration at indoor sports venues could pose a major problem, as only fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed inside such venues.

Meanwhile, senior local pediatrician Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS is shocked that cinemas are allowed to reopen, especially when the issues of Delta variant and ventilation have yet to be resolved while vaccination rate remains low in some places outside Klang Valley.




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