Hope Ideas Journeys

The making of a bio bubble for IPL 2020

Thinking on our feet during COVID 19

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. And when it involves an event on the scale of the Indian Premier League, which is watched by millions around the world, those measures have to go beyond anything that has been executed so far. For the team of 400 at Star India, this has involved being part of a secure bio bubble in various locations in Mumbai.

A bio secure bubble is a safe zone that gets created around the employees. It is an atmosphere where everything and every person being dealt with are always sanitised. It’s an absolute secure way of moving an individual from one location to the other and taking them back without any fear of infection.

“Our primary idea was to make sure that every single colleague working on the IPL was safe and secure, the team at Star.”

That began by moving them to a secure hotel in south Mumbai. This way they couldn’t go back and risk their families and vice versa. We split them into the four basic teams in charge of broadcasting the IPL—English, Hindi, regional crew and Hotstar—assigned them specific zone numbers. Each zone had its own transportation and hotel accommodation on a different floor, thus ensuring they didn’t come in contact with anyone from another team. In fact, even the hotel and independent staff assigned to each of the four zones— the drivers, the pantry boys, the housekeeping assistants—were provided accommodation on the same floor. That’s how a larger bio secure bubble created. In case someone from one of the zones was infected, the work would be divided equally among the remaining three zones to make sure that the channel is up and running for that evening or for that day. There have been similar smaller bio secure bubbles at the Star office in Lower Parel for the studio team and at a hotel in Powai for the traffic, presentation, marketing and video departments.

Keeping the bubble secure every day requires support from all quarters. There have been weekly tests for everyone in the bubble. That’s nine tests per head for each of the 400 people who have been bio secure since September 1. 

“We have a doctor, two paramedics and one ambulance available 24/7 as well in case we need their assistance.”

Along with physical care, the mental health aspect has also been given equal importance in the bio secure bubble. One of the hotel’s banquet halls has been turned into a gaming zone with air hockey, foosball and table tennis available to six people at a time. Another banquet hall had provisions to play badminton. There are also two counsellors available to anyone who wishes to discuss issues they may be facing. “Our bubble has been possible because everyone has cooperated and we never forgot the goal—to be safe, to keep our families safe, and to be ready to broadcast the IPL to India and to the world.”

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