Bhopal: Excise dept raids, closes down more than 100 hookah lounges in view of increasing number of corona cases in city

BHOPAL: The excise department has raided over 100 hookah lounges and closed them down in the view of the increasing number of corona cases in the state capital. Besides, restaurants, cafés and bars which run hookah lounges will be affected because of this order.

After collector Avinash Lawania’s order, the excise department has taken the initiative. The operation against hookah lounges continued till late into the night. Collector Avinash Lawania has banned all hookah lounges in the city on the ground that restaurants, bars and hookah lounges are places where the maximum number of youths visit. A hundred and seven corona cases were found in the state capital on Saturday. After this, the district administration took the decision to close down all the 90 hookah lounges in the state capital.

In November, 32,000 samples were sent for testing, but, now, the figure has come down to just half with 16,000 samples being collected at the state level, while the corona-positive rate has gone up to 3 per cent. Even though vaccination continues in Madhya Pradesh, the number of corona cases is also on the rise. Medical experts blame carelessness on the part of the public for this spurt in cases.

The nationwide vaccination drive against Covid-19 was rolled out on January 16 for healthcare workers, while frontline workers started receiving the vaccine shots on February 2. Providing the second dose of Covid-19 shots started on February 13. The next phase of Covid-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 for senior citizens and for people aged 45 years and above with specific co-morbid conditions.

‘Puffs from a single pipe’ :‘There are over 100 hookah lounges in the state capital. We’ve ensured the shutting down of hookah lounges in the state capital. The operation continued throughout the night and day on Sunday. If any hookah lounge is found open on Monday, we will cancel the licence. Actually, there are no fixed norms for opening hookah lounges. The problem with this is that many youths take puffs from a single pipe. This is really dangerous during pandemic times’ —
Sanjiv Dubey, joint commissioner

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