The Kerala High Court stated on Wednesday, August 11, that the test positivity rate (TPR) in the state is increasing due to improper enforcement of isolation rules, and that preventing crowding or full lockdown was the only option to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The court made the statement while expressing worry over the non-implementation of the new COVID-19 standards at state-owned Beverages Corporation (BEVCO) liquor stores, where customers could be seen standing in large lines for hours to buy alcohol.
The court was hearing a contempt petition alleging non-compliance with its 2017 ruling directing the state government and BEVCO to ensure that no disturbance is caused to businesses and citizens in Thrissur due to a BEVCO store there. According to Justice Devan Ramachandran, the new standards, which require that everyone venturing out have at least one dose of vaccine or a negative RT-PCR report that is less than 72 hours old or has been infected with COVID-19 in the last month, should also apply to liquor stores.
The court informed BEVCO that they could not neglect the safety of its consumers for the sake of profit, and that the new principles should apply to all BEVCO locations. “Is it your (BEVCO) position that COVID-19 will not be allowed near BEVCO outlets? You cannot expose clients to the greatest risk simply because you are making money from it. The rules should be more relevant to you. You must protect the lives of those who visit your establishments. You must verify that there is no overcrowding. The crowding outside these stores is concerning “According to the court.
“BEVCO must protect the lives of those who visit your stores. You must verify that there is no overcrowding. The crowding outside these stores is concerning “According to the court. The problem with the system here, it stated, was that despite laws, regulations, circulars, and alerts against crowding, “nobody respects it.” According to the court, the only explanation for the crowding at the liquor stores was that alcohol was not offered like any other item. “You want to sell it, but you also don’t want to be seen selling it. That is the issue “additionally, the court
It scheduled a hearing for September 2nd after BEVCO stated that it was in the process of relocating several of its outlets to areas with greater amenities to avoid crowding. BEVCO also stated that the new COVID-19 criteria apply to its outlets as well and that all of its stores have been told to follow them.