Limit alcohol sales, WHO tells governments

Life Grigory Matyunin 21-Apr-2020
Wine alcohol
ID 5483824 © Yap Kee Chan |

Governments should impose restrictions upon access to alcohol during the lockdown, the World Health Organisation has said.

Alcohol consumption can weaken the immune system, making people more vulnerable to the effects of covid-19.

“Alcohol is known to be harmful to health in general, and is well understood to increase the risk of injury and violence, including intimate partner violence, and can cause alcohol poisoning,” the organisation’s press release said.

“Alcohol consumption is associated with a range of communicable and noncommunicable diseases and mental health disorders, which can make a person more vulnerable to COVID-19. In particular, alcohol compromises the body’s immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes. Therefore, people should minimize their alcohol consumption at any time, and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A total of 3 million deaths worldwide can be attributed to alcohol consumption. The WHO recommends current restrictions be upheld and heightened for the duration of the lockdowns.

Alcohol sales have experienced a significant increase since the start of the lockdowns, outstripping even essential items that customers were stockpiling such as pasta and other staple foods.

Concerns have also been raised that such drinking patterns might become habitual in future.