Kochi: With the COVID-19 Test Positivity Rate (TPR) continuing to rise, liquor outlets have been ordered to shut down in many parts of Ernakulam district.
No bars or beer and wine parlours will open from today until further notice. The district has been experiencing a spike in new cases of the pandemic disease even as the whole state of Kerala has been reporting nearly half of the daily cases across India of late.
Many places which were earlier classified as A and B categories, as per the TPR, have now slipped to C category because of high TPR. This has prompted the district administration to close down liquor shops in such areas to prevent further spread.
Of the 40 liquor outlets of the BEVCO in the district, 32 have been shut down. All liquor shops as well as wine and beer parlours have been shut in Kochi Municipal Corporation area which has now come under C category following rise in the TPR. Consumerfed's liquor outlets too have been shut.
Within Kochi Corporation limits BEVCO and the Consumerfed have 14 and four outlets, respectively.
In the district liquor shops will be allowed to function only in local bodies coming under TPR category A and B.
Accordingly liquor outlets will be open only in Puthenkkurissu, Kalamassery, Ramamangalam, Elanji, Piravom, Pothannikadu, Pattimattom and Nedumbasserry areas. As heavy rush of liquor buyers from other places are expected here staff from the shut outlets is being deployed in these shops temporarily. However, crowd management is going to be a tough call at toddy shops because of the limited facilities.
Ernakulam reported 2,359 new Covid cases on Thursday increasing the number of active cases in the district to 12,910.