One in Two Citizens Demand Home Delivery of Liquor to Prevent Spread of Covid-19: Survey
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The third phase of Covid-19 lockdown permitted re-opening of liquor shops in the country after 40 dry days. Result? Several thousand consumers queued for kilometers to buy liquor. Though the shop owners and officials painstakingly drew circles 3 meters apart from each other to ensure social distancing is followed, soon videos of people pushing into each other surfaced, from across the country, clearly showing how social distancing norms were being blatantly flouted.
As a result, Delhi, which falls in the red zone, due to rising concerns of Covid-19 spreading closed down shops by mid-day, leaving a many disheartened. However, it’s not just the officials but the general public is also concerned about opening up of liquor shops, crowd mismanagement and risk of COVID-19 spreading, shows a survey by LocalCircles, a community platform.
One in two citizens want home delivery of liquor in red zones to prevent the spread of COVID-19 due to crowds at liquor vends, as per the survey.
“Citizens strongly feel that delivering liquor at the consumer’s doorsteps, just like other products, is the only way to stop this high-risk gathering of people around liquor stores. This will ensure that the number of people who gather in front of the liquor vends goes away and at the same time, excise revenue keeps flowing for the government,” the survey stated.
The guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs last week clearly stated that shops selling liquor should be located at a minimum distance of six feet and each shop can’t have more than five people lined up in front of it.
“In many places across India, queues as long as 1 km were seen in front of liquor shops with anxious tipplers gathered to buy their preferred brand. This has made residents living in these areas worried as people have been standing very close to each other, increasing the chances of the spread of COVID-19 virus,” the survey claimed.
Chattisgarh and Punjab are the first states to have allowed online sale of liquor to discourage overcrowding at liquor shops.
The survey received 8,078 responses from citizens located in over 250 districts of India. While 69 per cent respondents were men, 31 per cent respondents were women.