This article originally appeared on VICE IN.
Police in India’s capital Delhi raided a nightclub on July 14 and arrested 31 people for attending an illegal party.
The party broke social distancing rules put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in pandemic-hit Delhi. The city has recorded a total of 118,645 COVID-19 infections; of them, 17,407 are active cases.
The Times of India reported that police were alerted to the party because of a traffic snarl outside the club.
The club, ironically called Playgue, sent out secret invitations to loyal customers just a day before the party through WhatsApp messages. At least 31 people showed up.
The nightclub allegedly operated under the guise of being a takeaway-only restaurant. Owners Lavish and Kashish Khurana, who are brothers, were present at the party and were arrested.
When police reached the location, they found attendees smoking, drinking and dancing, flouting all social distancing guidelines. The club was not only serving hookah and alcohol—the sale of which is prohibited in all places except state-regulated shops—but also reportedly did not have a permit to serve alcohol pre-pandemic either. Cops seized 11 bottles of alcohol, 77 beer bottles, and eight hookahs.
“We have sealed the club and will conduct COVID-19 tests on all the visitors,” a police officer told The Times of India. “If any of them are found to be positive, they will be booked for additional violations under various sections of IPC (Indian Penal Code).”
While the numbers of coronavirus cases keep on steadily rising globally, people continue to attend large gatherings and parties. In May, over 100 cases of coronavirus were linked to just one man’s night out in South Korea. In June, Europe saw several illegal raves pop up—two of them in the UK were attended by as many as 6,000 people. And just last week, a 30-year-old in Texas who thought the coronavirus pandemic was a hoax died after attending a party and contracting the virus.
India on Friday, July 17, crossed the one million mark of COVID-19 cases, and is the country with the third highest number of cases, only behind the United States and Brazil respectively.
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