Allow home delivery of booze in Delhi, liquor makers urge govt

Sources in the government said that it will be a major challenge to stop smuggling of liquor of neighbouring states in the national capital.

About 1,000 stranded workers seeking help to return to homes in states across India gathered on the outskirts of Gujarat's city of Surat and threw stones at police who ordered them to disperse, an official said.

Liquor will cost more in Delhi from May 5 as the government has made a decision to impose a 70 percent "Special Corona Fee" on its sale in the national capital, sources said.

The MHA order said that alcohol shops that fall under the Orange and Green zones will be allowed to open as long as they maintain social-distancing norms and with no more than six people being allowed to queue up at a time.

Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that it was time for restrictions to be relaxed in the city, saying it was time the city "learned to live with the coronavirus".

This is particularly true of spirits, with the country of 1.3 billion people reportedly guzzling nearly half the world's whisky, although much of it in reality is rum according to purists.

Russian Federation reports 9,623 new COVID-19 cases in a day
Fifty eight people died over the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 1,280. Moscow recorded 5,358 new cases, bringing the capital's total tally to 62,658.

"The curve has not shown a downward trend. That is cause for concern", said Dr. Randeep Guleria, director of New Delhi's All-India Institute of Medical Sciences.

The excise department in Uttar Pradesh ordered that no more than 750 ml liquor be sold to one person, CNN-News18 reported, after booze shops in India's most populous state attracted large swathes of tipplers who ignored social distancing norms.

"We expect to earn over Rs 3,000 crore due to hike in excise duty and more sales when pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels reopen for business across the state after the extended lockdown is lifted soon", he said.

The country's land borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal have all been closed.

India's death rate of 1,568 fatalities from 46,432, or 3.4 per cent, is lower than in some European countries such as the United Kingdom and Italy, although not Germany.

India's median age of 28 is well below that in the USA (38), Britain (41), Spain (43) or Italy (45).

  • Sonia Alvarado