Coronavirus: Amid lockdown, should India consider alcohol under essential items list?
Since Prime Minister Modi announced a 21 days lockdown in India, only essential commodities such as milk, groceries, and medicines, vegetables, and fruit shops are allowed to remain open for public.
In mid-March, the WHO announced the coronavirus spread a pandemic. The WHO chief asked all nations to fight and requested them to test, treat, follow, quarantine, and mobilize their citizens in the response.
India has shut down liquor shops in many states as this comes under non-essential commodity, because of which there have been reports of a surge in the number of patients suffering from withdrawal symptoms in some areas.
Last week, in Telangana, South India, the number of people suffering from withdrawal symptoms had increased during lockdown. In Kerala, around nine people died due to lack of alcohol, one died of heart attack, seven committed suicide, and one died of drinking aftershave lotion, as per News 18.
According to CDC guidelines, alcohol should be consumed in moderation, for example: – one peg per day for women and up to two pegs per day for men…. only by adults of legal drinking age. Drinking a large quantity of alcohol daily could lead to severe health hazards such as alcohol use disorder (AUD), which is further divided into two kinds, (1) alcohol dependency and (2) alcohol abuse.
Withdrawal from alcohol dependence can be life-threatening if it is not managed rightly. Amid coronavirus lockdown, due to ban on alcohol, a sudden stop of consumption by an alcoholic can cause life-threatening symptoms; excessive sweating, heart attack, hallucinations, seizures, anxiety, anger, depression and death. Its aftereffects such as excessive anger, irritability, and anxiety are hazardous for family members and society as well.
The individuals who couldn’t manage without alcohol daily would soon have the chance to avail fixed quota of liquor from the Excise Department with a medical letter from a certified medical specialist, the chief minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, expressed on Saturday. He also added that the prohibition on alcohol during the lockdown in many states is creating a large number of social issues, News 18 reports.
Chief Minister of Punjab has also declared supply of liquor as an essential items list, along with groceries during the covid-19 lockdown in the state.
Meanwhile, liquor stores across Haryana and Himachal Pradesh were operational during the starting period of lockdown, but due to public and media criticism, chief ministers of both the states have announced to shut all the liquor shops till 14 April.
Article Credit: CDC/New 18/WHO/Telangana Today