'Ministry of Health is not aware of the opening of liquor outlets' (Video)

Saturday, 18 September 2021 - 22:42

The Ministry of Health stated that approval has never been granted to open liquor outlets.

It was also revealed through an inquiry raised by the Hiru News team that no one has informed the Ministry of Health about this.

Liquor outlets were opened in many parts of the island today, similar to yesterday, despite the curfew. Liquor outlets associated with supermarkets were also opened and people were seen buying liquor in violation of quarantine rules.

Many parties have protested against this. They stated that people who come to buy alcohol at a time when the COVID pandemic is under control are violating the quarantine rules.

Commenting on this, the President of the Public Health Inspectors (PHI) Association Upul Rohana stated that there is a risk of the emergence of a new 'COVID liquor cluster' in the future due to this.

Meanwhile, the Association of Specialist Physicians stated in a statement that such gatherings could form new COVID clusters.

The announcement also stated that the association has an understanding of the right of the people to obtain goods as well as the need for the government to earn revenue.

Accordingly, the Association of Specialist Physicians stated that a formal procedure should be devised to minimize the possible damages and for consumers to purchase the required items.

The Deputy Director-General of Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath stated at a media briefing held in Colombo today that such irresponsible actions by groups of people who consume alcohol, would adversely affect the control of the coronavirus.

When the Health Minister stated that the Ministry of Health had not been informed about the opening of liquor outlets, the Hiru News team tried to contact several senior officials of the Excise Department on several occasions to inquire about it, but it was unsuccessful as none of them responded to telephone calls.