Guwahati, April 15, 2020:
Assam Government has declared total shutdown of all the liquor shops across the state with immediate effect.
According to reports, the administration has ordered to shut all the stores by 5 PM on Wednesday.
This decision has come two days after the Government had approved the opening of licensed IMFL (Indian-made foreign liquor) shops, wholesale warehouses, bottling plants, distilleries, and breweries on April 13.
It may be mentioned here that after the liquor shops were opened to the general public for the first time since the imposition of the 21-day lockdown, people from the state crowded to these shops like moths drawn to a flame. Massive crowds were reported from several parts of the state.
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Hundreds upon hundreds were seen lining up outside the liquor stores in the State with scant regard for safety and security. The procurement of liquor, it seemed, was of paramount importance.
In Guwahati, Inside Northeast had seen huge rush outside liquor stores as people from all walks of life gathered and waited for a long time to collect the liquor of their choice. However, in several of the shops, it was observed that people were extra careful to maintain distance from one another.
The earlier notification issued by the Government stated, “The Licensee of IMFL “OFF/ CS “OFF” shops, wholesale warehouses, bottling plants, distilleries and breweries shall be personally responsible for deploying their staff to ensure maintaining social distancing of at least 1 meter between customers, staff, cough etiquette and to strictly follow all directives issued by National Health Mission, Assam with reference to COVID-19 situation.”
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It also needs to mention here that the Indian Alcoholic Beverage Industry had previously asked the Centre and state governments to chalk out a plan and allow the opening of distilleries and bottling plants in a phased manner.
It had also sought phase-wise opening of retail and on-trade (pubs, restaurants, etc) establishments in non-Covid-19 hotspots and commencement of online sales under strict government observation to fulfill the criteria of social distancing.
Meanwhile, the country is preparing to observe its second phase lockdown till May 3. With a death toll soaring to 377 in the country on Wednesday, the Government is now looking at imposing strict lockdown rules in a bid to contain its further spread.
India’s current coronavirus cases now stand at 11,439. With 1,076 fresh cases, India has now entered a stricter phase to curb the virus. The death toll related to novel coronavirus climbed to 377 in India on Wednesday.
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The numbers include 9,756 active cases while 1,306 patients have either been discharged or cured, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. The total number of cases includes 76 foreign nationals.
According to the Health Ministry’s data, the highest number of confirmed cases in the country is from Maharashtra. The State has 2,687 coronavirus cases, followed by Delhi with 1,561 and Tamil Nadu with 1,204 coronavirus cases.
In Assam, there are 32 positive cases with 1 death. Meghalaya has 7 cases with 1 death, Manipur and Tripura have 2 cases each and Mizoram has 1 case. A person from Nagaland has tested positive in Guwahati, Assam.
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