The petitioner, B Ramkumar Adityan, stated that spread of COVID-19 is fairly rapid during the second wave in the state. To contain the infection among people and to safeguard them, the state government has declared closure of religious institutions and denied permissions for holding any public meeting. But there’s no restriction in the functioning of Tasmac liquor outlets, where tipplers keep thronging in large numbers every day. Mostly, they were seen without face masks and physical distancing was not maintained at all in such shops.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), drinking alcohol does not protect one against COVID-19 and can be dangerous. Moreover, misinformation is being spread through social media and other communication channels about alcohol and COVID-19. In no way would consumption of alcohol protect anyone from COVID-19 or prevent anyone from being infected by it. Use of alcohol certainly increases the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), one of the most severe complications of COVID-19. To slow down the spread of the virus, the WHO recommends physical distancing of at least one meter from sick people as a protective measure. Bars, casinos, night clubs, restaurants and other places, where people gather to consume alcohol (including at home) increases the risk of transmission of the virus. People with an alcohol use disorder are at greater risk of COVID-19, the petitioner said.
The petition filed before a division bench of Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice S Ananthi, is slated for hearing soon, sources said.