Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government is in no mood to stop one of its lucrative revenue sources, which are retail alcohol outlets, bars, and beer parlours. This comes at a time when the state is going through high alertness as 24 persons are infected with the virus and hundreds are in isolation. The alcohol outlets are places, which witnesses a high number of people gathering.
Though the state has ordered the schools and theatres closed for a period of time to prevent the spread of the virus, it refuses to close down these alcohol outlets. These outlets could be instrumental in the spread of the virus as people come in close contact with each other while standing in queues and sitting in closed spaces.
According to a report the state has 598 bars, 357 beer parlours and 301 retail liquor stores. The State Beverages Corporation has 265 liquor outlets and the Consumerfed owns 36 outlets.
Moreover, the state excise department itself conducted toddy shop auction at Malappuram District which was attended by more than 200 persons. This is a direct violation of the government’s order banning gatherings of more than 50 individuals.
The seriousness of the state’s efforts to combat the spread of the virus comes into question when these alcohol outlets remain open in spite of the dangers of spread of infection.