Coimbatore

‘Tasmac outlets reopened only in districts where caseload has reduced’

Minister for Prohibition and Excise V. Senthil Balaji addressing a press meet in Salem on Sunday.  

Minister for Prohibition and Excise V. Senthil Balaji said the State government permitted reopening of Tasmac outlets only in districts where the caseload had reduced and it had not been permitted in 11 districts where cases were higher.

Mr. Balaji told presspersons, “The Chief Minister ordered closure of Tasmac outlets on May 10 considering the increase in COVID-19 cases. Now, the outlets have been permitted to open in 27 districts where the disease spread has reduced. Outlets are not permitted to function in 11 districts in which disease spread is yet to reduce.”

Mr. Balaji said that in Karnataka, liquor outlets were not closed even for a single day during the second wave and they functioned from 6 a.m to 10 a.m and now a revised order had been passed permitting liquor outlets to function till 2 p.m. About 50,000 cases were reported in Karnataka on May 15 and active cases were six lakh on May 17 and liquor shops continued to operate there despite COVID-19 at its peak.

Some people were trying to portray that only Tasmac outlets had been permitted to function. However, export businesses with 50% staff, home appliances and mobile phone stores, hardware outlets had also been given relaxations in 27 districts and the 11 districts had also been given certain relaxations.

On criticism based on protests conducted by DMK during previous regime against opening Tasmac outlets, Mr.Balaji said that during previous regime, even when disease spread was at its peak, the outlets were opened for two days - May 7 and 8 - and it was closed following court litigation and shops were reopened a week later.

Mr. Stalin opposed opening of Tasmac outlets when disease spread was its peak and even today, the CM would not have permitted opening outlets if disease spread was high. Mr. Balaji said sales would be made only to those following COVID-19 protocols and there would be police presence the outlets.

While positivity rate was 8% in Tamil Nadu, it was 29.67% in Karnataka. Strict measures were taken to prevent smuggling of liquor bottles from other states, he said and added that strict measures were also taken to prevent sale of liquor in black market in the 11 districts.

On BJP’s protests demanding closure of liquor outlets, Mr. Balaji the BJP should have protested condemning the hike in fuel prices if it was concerned about the public. The increase in fuel prices had led to increase in price of essentials and the public were severely affected.

COVID-19 treatment

Mr. Balaji said the deaths happening in the district were being studied and the positivity rate in private labs at Salem was only 13% on Saturday. The district administration now planned to shift patients from other government hospitals to the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital or Steel Plant treatment centre and use other government hospitals for providing treatment for other diseases.


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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 9:21:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/tasmac-outlets-reopened-only-in-districts-where-caseload-has-reduced/article34806941.ece

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