Social Distancing thrown to the wind India rushes to buy alcohol

People flocked outside various liquor shops across Andhra Pradesh in large numbers, flouting social distancing guidelines at several places, as stores opened for the first time since the imposition of coronavirus-induced lockdown. 

In Porumamilla village of Kadapa district, a crowd of locals gathered outside a liquor shop ignoring the social distancing norms. 

A long queue was also seen at liquor shops on the Nuzividu road of Hanuman Junction town in Krishna district with people waiting in line for hours even before the stores had opened. 

Mylavaram excise circle inspector Peddiraju said that the liquor shops in the area would not open today as they had not received orders from officials about the same and that they would only allow the shops to open only after receiving directions. 

People were seen gathered outside liquor shops in Ibrahimpatnam Mandal of the district but were later dispersed by the police. The circle inspector also said that they had inspected the situation at the liquor shops in West Ibrahimpatnam Mandal.

Muppalla village of Chandarlapadu Mandal, where a COVID-19 case was reported, also witnessed a huge crowd at the liquor store. The village is now declared an orange zone. 

People gathered at the shops hours before the opening time and refused to observe social distancing, causing trouble for the police officials deputed at the spot. 

Meanwhile, excise officials in Gudivada town of the district made appropriate arrangements for the people standing outside liquor shops to maintain social distancing and wear face masks. 

Kothapalem area Visakhapatnam district's Gopalapatnam Mandal also witnessed a similar scene with people standing in long queues since the morning, flouting social distancing norms and quarrelling with each other. Police officials were seen struggling to control the crowd. 

Similar scenes of crowding were witnessed across the country while some cities also had sporadic cases of violence. 

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