Long Queues At Liquor Shops Ahead Of Delhi Lockdown; A Comment Goes Viral

Liquor shops at Khan Market, Connaught Place's Gole Market and several other stores across the city faced a sudden rush as people raced to stock up on alcohol for the week.

Delhi lockdown: Liquor stores saw long queues after the lockdown was announced

New Delhi:

Large queues were seen at several liquor stores in Delhi today moments after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a six-day lockdown from 10 pm tonight till 5 am next Monday to tackle the raging coronavirus pandemic.

Liquor shops at Khan Market, Connaught Place's Gole Market and several other stores across the city faced a sudden rush as people raced to stock up on alcohol for the week.

Social distancing was missing, so were masks, as queues grew longer at the shops, photos shared on Twitter show.

A woman's comment outside a liquor shop in northeast Delhi's Shivpuri has gone viral and was slammed by many on social media.

"Injection won't do any good, alcohol will help. Medicines will not be able to help me, only a peg will help," the woman told a reporter in Hindi in a nearly one minute-long video shared by news agency ANI.

"I have been drinking for the last 35 years, I have not taken any other dose ever. I drink one peg a day, that is my dose," the woman, whose face mask had slipped well below her nose, said with a smile.

As she speaks, a crowd is seen jostling behind her with no social distancing near the liquor shop counter.

The woman was slammed by Twitter for the bizarre comment.

Arvind Kejriwal's strict move came as Delhi became the worst-hit city in India with 25,500 fresh cases on Sunday. Almost one-third of those who tested returned positive. In the last 24 hours, the number of cases remained high despite a dip -- 23,500. Total cases in Delhi stands at over 8.5 lakhs.

Vinod Giri, director general of Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies, on the rush outside liquor stores in Delhi said, "What we saw today was panic reaction from the public, driven by their memory of lockdown extensions last year... While we hope that the public and shopkeepers in Delhi adhere to Covid appropriate behaviour, steps to reassure public would help. The decision of Maharashtra to allow home delivery of liquor, for example, has helped contained panic reaction to lockdown there."

India has been battling a ravaging Covid surge with the country reporting a record daily high today with over 2.73 lakh fresh infections.

The total number of cases now stands at over 1.5 crore; 1.78 lakh people have died so far. This is the fifth straight day that over 2 lakh cases were reported in the country.