Panchayats in several villages across India have banned the sale of cold drinks, ice-creams and several other items over the fears that they heighten the risk of coronavirus infections, hurting sales.
Panchayats have also barred the entry of "outsiders" as the second wave of coronavirus rips through the country. The Times of India said it reviewed some of the notices that have been issued by the panchayats which include instructions to curtail opening hours for shops.
The rules have hurt the sale of items such as chips, curd, fruit juices and biscuits, the report said. "We are facing a strange problem," an executive at a large beverage company told the publication. "The elders in these villages are alleging that cold products increase the risk of contracting COVID-related infections," the executive said.
"Any business related to cold items such as cold drinks and ice creams will not be allowed in the village," a notice seen by the newspaper read.
There has been no scientific study to link colas and cold drinks with COVID-19 infections, though the coronavirus is known to attack the respiratory system. Cough and cold are among the growing list of symptoms of COVID-19 and perhaps that is where the fear stems from.
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Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.
Coca-Cola India, PepsiCo and some other multinational companies had not responded when contacted by The Times of India.
The sales head of a food company told the paper that even the sale of srikhand, a sweet made out of curd, is not permitted in many village clusters.
"There is only one entry point and one exit point and outsiders will not be allowed," another notice said"Shops will be allowed to open only from 7am to 9am. Violators will be fined Rs 500," one notice said.