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Fearing COVID-19 spread, DMK opposes reopening of retail liquor outlets in Chennai


Chennai, Aug 17: DMK President MK Stalin on Monday urged the Tamil Nadu government not to open TASMAC retail liquor outlets in the state from August 18, saying it would lead to further spread of coronavirus.

MK Stalin

Opening liquor shops again was like clearing up "big way" for the spread of the pathogen in the statecapital, he alleged in a Facebook post.

On Sunday, the government said liquor outlets in Chennai, are shut since March 24, would be reopened on August 18. The DMK chief alleged that TASMAC shops in the rest of TamilNadu had a "big role" in increasing the spread of the virus.

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"It was inhuman to not worry about those who may be affected by the opening of liquor stores and be concerned only about the revenue to the government," he alleged, and said the move to resume liquor sales would lead to further spread of coronavirus.

Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam chief TTV Dhinakaran also opposed opening TASMAC shops again in Chennai. Barring shops in Chennai and other nearby areas falling under the jurisdiction of the Greater Chennai Police, liquor outlets in the rest of Tamil Nadu werereopened on May 7.

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State-run Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation liquor shops were not reopened in May in view of a comparatively high number of COVID cases during that period of time. COVID-19 cases in Chennai began witnessing a declining trend since the first week of last month and in recent times recorded less than 1,000 new virus cases every day.

From August 14 onwards, the fresh infections were between 1,000 and 1,200. TASMAC shops were closed on March 24 evening across Tamil Nadu when the lockdown was imposed for the first time in the state to tackle the COVID-19 spread.

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