Lithapo producer shares insider take on COVID-19 shutdown

Written by TVSA Team from the blog Lithapo Teasers on 29 Jun 2020
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Dearest reader... yes, this is an announcement of yet another show that's been forced to hit the Pause button on filming because of the COVID pandemic.

SABC2's Lithapo shut shop at their Fleet Street Studios in Ferndale on Friday (26 June) after someone on the production tested positive.

The person's name hasn't been revealed to maintain their privacy but the show has been forthcoming in explaining the behind-the-scenes protocols to us.

TVSA spoke with series producer Siphiwe Hlabangane today who filled us in on how the show handled it...

Siphiwe: During Level 5 we created protocols to determine exactly how we would respond. All it is is literature that we've developed to tell us how to respond in the event that we are exposed, and now it's been put into practice.

It's like an evacuation procedure.

So this is the drill:

Last week the production discovered that one of their team was positive as a result of their morning screening protocols.

Each morning the production follows a screening process that involves a temperature check and various questions for each member of the cast and crew. You've probably been through similar ones at various places.

Questions the production asks include:

Have you been to a doctor recently?
Have you been to a clinic?
Have you been in contact with anyone who has COVID?

It was through this screening process that the show picked up the possible case.

The person was whisked away, had a test done and the production shut down when the test proved positive.

Lithapo's production house Quizzical Pictures works with a Public Safety Company who did a track and trace to see who the person could have come into contact with on the production and those people went for tests on Saturday.

If none of them are positive, filming can resume on Monday, 6 July and if there is another positive case, the show will work with the Public Safety Company and the SABC to plot the next step.

And this is how it will go throughout the pandemic when new cases are confirmed.

It's mind-bending that this is how we have to live now.

This from Siphiwe about it:

Siphiwe: It's a brave new world, we are creating this world and we need to be mindful of the fact that there is no stigma, even if one is positive.

It's very important because I think a lot of people would feel a sense of shame but most of us, if what government says is to be believed, most of us are going to contract the disease and it's through no fault of our own. 

All we need to do is be vigilant, protect one another and stay as safe as you can.

I equate it to driving where you need to be responsible on the road and you have no idea what other motorists have done, whether they're under the influence of alcohol or anything like that.

You just need to be responsible for yourself and for those who are in the vehicle that you are operating and there's no stigma if you have a bumper crash, well, it happens to the best of us.

It's interesting that the screening test did the job don't you think? We've been wondering if they work. Clearly they do, if people are honest and totally accurate about their whereabouts when they answer the questions. 

May the force be with Lithapo's Cast and Crew. 


Actors in this post: Siphiwe Hlabangane

Shows in this post: Lithapo

Channels in this post: SABC2


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