Kerala Tipplers Defy Lockdown, Throng Liquor Shops

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Kochi: Notwithstanding the state-wide lockdown against coronavirus, tipplers stood in long queues outside state-run liquor outlets across Kerala on Tuesday.

As the tipplers thronged the outlets, officials asked them to ensure that they kept one metre distance between them as part of the preventive steps to check the transmission of COVID-19.

Official sources said police were deployed and precautionary measures were taken at the liquor outlets to prevent the virus from spreading, news agency PTI reported.

Only those wearing masks were allowed to stand in queues, the sources added.

The opposition Congress criticised the CPI(M)-led LDF government for not taking steps to restrict crowds in front of the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) outlets, apprehending that such a situation would pave way for spreading the virus.

Earlier on Monday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had justified the decision to keep the liquor shops open citing the “peculiar” situation prevailing in the state.

Kerala is in total lockdown since Monday midnight till March 31 to check the virus spread.

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