People thronged to the liquor shops in the state as the government had relaxed norms in terms of sale of liquor
People thronged to the liquor shops in the state as the government had relaxed norms in terms of sale of liquor
ANI

In a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19, Mumbai Police have announced that Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) has been imposed in the city till May 17.

Section 144 of CrPC prohibits the assembly of four or more people in an area.

"The Movement of one or more persons for all non-essential services, except for medical reasons, will be prohibited between 8 pm and 7 am," the police said.

Earlier, people thronged to the liquor shops in the state as the government had relaxed norms in terms of sale of liquor. However, they were standing in long queues to buy their booze till noon as the excise department was yet to clarify if sale of liquor is allowed in the state.

Long queues were seen outside liquor outlets in Mumbai and Pune on Monday, a day after the state government said shops of non-essential items, including liquor, will be allowed to open in COVID-19 non-containment zones, but to the dismay of the customers, they remained shut.

The confusion was apparently due to a contradictory communication from the excise department, a shop owner said. A senior state government official said no order has been issued to keep these liquor shops closed.

What's worse is that people clearly forgot to maintain distance and stood in the long queues for hours even after the government had laid down guidelines for the same.

State Excise Commissioner Kantilal Umap earlier appealed to the people not to crowd around shops, maintain physical distancing, etc, but nobody seemed to care.

The government has stipulated a six-feet physical distance, each customer to sanitise his hands before the purchase, the shop must sanitise the vicinity after every two hours, work with 50 percent staff all sporting gloves, masks, etc, and the working hours would average from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra has risen up to 14,541 while the death toll stands at 583.

The Centre on Friday extended the ongoing nationwide lockdown till May 17, while allowing different sets of relaxations in red, orange and green zones.

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