For all those who missed out on the important happenings around the globe, here are some news highlights from the month of March and April to catch up on.
The highlight of March and April was the national lockdown in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the nation, imposed a national lockdown to control the outbreak of coronavirus. It was on 22nd March when the country observed Janata Curfew after which the PM announced a 21-days lockdown.
A relief fund called PM-CARES was set up where people could donate and support the relief work amid this pandemic.
Amid the pandemic, religious issues also started cropping up as several people questioned Tablighi Jamaat held in Delhi. A person was found positive with coronavirus, after which everyone who attended the jamaat was tested. Many of them were found infected with the virus. This lead to huge political debates across nation, bringing up once again religious issues in the country.
It came as a huge shock to everyone when the popular actor Tom Hanks was found infected with the novel coronavirus. Not just him, but his wife Rita Wilson too was found positive. Fortunately, both the stars recovered from the virus soon.
Due to the pandemic, one of the biggest events of the year in the entertainment world, the Cannes Film Festival also got cancelled. Stars like Priyanka Chopra amongst others recalled their prior appearances in the festival.
In another, unfortunate incident, the veteran Hollywood actor Mark Blum passed away on March 26th. The actor took his last breath and died of complications from coronavirus at the age of 69. His demise has left many of his fans in shock. He was best known for his roles in Crocodile Dundee and Desperately Seeking Susan.
As a good news for the audiences, Disney Plus released two much awaited films a little early on the OTT platform. Frozen and Star Wars came to OTT screens earlier than expected and entertained people in this lockdown.
The month of March and April saw many developments in the Bollywood film industry. Owing to the national lockdown, all the celebs stayed indoors and motivated others to do the same through their social media pages. We also saw the stars donating in large numbers to fight COVID-19.
From Akshay Kumar to Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, these celebs extended their support to multiple relief funds. Shah Rukh Khan himself donated to seven different organisations and won people’s hearts. Salman Khan, who has been living in Panvel in this lockdown, had reportedly been transferring money directly to the accounts of people who were working on his film.
Another highlight of these months includes singer Kanika Kapoor being tested positive with coronavirus. People trolled her badly for not going into self-isolation after she travelled to India from London. While she received a lot of backlash, fortunately she recovered from the virus a few weeks later.
Towards the end of April, the industry was left saddened. We lost the actor Irrfan Khan on April 29th, who breathed his last in Kokilaben Hospital of Mumbai. He was battling with neuroendocrine tumour for the past two years. The following day brought another sad news as we lost another gem, Rishi Kapoor on April 30th. The veteran actor was battling with cancer and passed away in Sir HN Reliance Hospital in Mumbai. Throughout this tough time, Alia Bhatt was there by Ranbir Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor’s side. Due to the restrictions, not many people could attend their funeral. People poured in their condolences on social media itself.
The television industry saw a lot of changes in terms of their shows. As shoots were stalled and new episodes were not ready, old shows from the 90s returned to the screens. Ramayana and Mahabharat broke all the TRP records and the internet was flooded with the memes on these shows. The leads Arun Govil and Dipika Chikhlia went all nostalgic and talked about the olden days on their social media handles.
On the other hand, there were reports around the break-up of the much popular couple Rithvik Dhanjani and Asha Negi. While both of them refrained from talking about it, the news left their fans saddened.
Several other television stars like Jennifer Winget and Kushal Tandon talked about their lives in lockdown. The social media has been filled with glimpses of these celebs cooking and working out at home. On the noble side, many came out and supported people and strays in need. They also motivated others to help as many people as possible.
While the world had come to a standstill due to the outbreak of coronavirus, one industry that didn’t stop was that of technology. The video calling application Zoom went to its peak while people increase the usage during the lockdown. It became one of the most popular apps amongst the people working from home. However, due to the privacy issues, the shareholders sued the application.
On the other hand, the social media application Snapchat was down in many parts of the globe. Reportedly people were unable to send or receive images or videos. Some others also reported the issue of not being able to receive texts or even refresh their feed.
Amid the lockdown, as a great marketing move, Google announced that their premium features, for their video calling services, will be available for free to all the users till September 30th. While it was earlier called Hangouts, it is now known as Google Meet. The premium features enable up to 250 people to attend a video conference simultaneously. Also, up to 100,000 viewers can stream the content live and that too with the users domain. All meetings can be recorded and saved on Google Drive.
There were also several new products launched in the world of technology. From LG Style 3 to LG Folder 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, companies came up with new products and attractive features for the customers. Apple too came up with its most affordable phone to date. Their new model iPhone SE has been priced at $399 for a 64GB model.