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The raging pandemic did not matter to tipplers in Kerala as they gulped down a record Rs 750 crore (about $139 million AUD) worth of liquor during the 10 day Onam festival which ended on Sunday, according to the sole wholesaler of liquor and beer in the state — Bevco.
This past week, the Kerala saw daily case numbers averaging at about 15,000 cases per day. However, this did not turn a deterrent as tipplers armed with vaccine certificates lined up before 260 retail outlets of Bevco.
While 70% of the sales took place through the retail outlets, the bars which can only provide supplies in bottles, accounted for 30%.
This year’s Onam festival also saw the Bevco retail outlet located near the State Secretariat registering the highest ever daily sale of Rs 1.04 crore. It took place on Friday which saw the total daily sales peak by Rs 85 crore.
The profile of liquor users in the state in an earlier study reveal that around 32.9 lakh people out of the 3.34 crore population in the state consume liquor, which includes 29.8 lakh men and 3.1 lakh women.
Around five lakh people in Kerala, consume liquor on a daily basis. Of this, around 83,851 people including 1,043 women are addicted to alcohol, according to state government statistics.
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