Maharashtra health minister says alcohol shops should be allowed to function if social distancing guidelines are followed

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Monday said that alcohol shops in the state should be allowed to remain open if social distancing measures are followed.

FP Staff April 20, 2020 23:49:33 IST
Maharashtra health minister says alcohol shops should be allowed to function if social distancing guidelines are followed

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Monday said that alcohol shops in the state should be allowed to remain open if social distancing measures are followed. "If social distancing is properly maintained, there should not be any ban on liquor shops," reports quoted him as saying in a Facebook Live.

However, he didn't give details on the issue and an official notification has not been issued by the government.

Maharashtra health minister says alcohol shops should be allowed to function if social distancing guidelines are followed

File image of Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope. News18 Lokmat

The Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) wrote to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray last week, recommending a "phased resumption of business — from distillery to wine stores — given the revenue and employment implications for the state," CNBC-TV18 reported.

On Sunday, Thackeray said that a limited number of sectors will be allowed to resume business from Monday, after a weeks-long shutdown to slow the spread of coronavirus left millions out of work.

He said that some activity would be permitted in the least-affected parts of the state while observing a strict lockdown in the red zones that have the maximum number of cases.

“We need to start the economic wheels again. We are giving selective permissions from tomorrow, especially in orange zones and green zones,” he said, referring to areas with lower levels of infection.

Maharashtra is the worst-affected state by the coronavirus pandemic, with 466 new cases reported on Monday, taking the state's tally to 4,666 cases as of 6 pm. Meanwhile, the toll also rose to 232 in the state.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date:

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