Amid the 21 days nationwide lockdown, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said that the government is considering the option of online sale of liquor as the sudden unavailability of alcohol may lead to social problems. The Kerala government also asked the Excise Department to provide free treatment and admit people with withdrawal symptoms from alcohol consumption to the de-addiction centres. The move comes after many reportedly showed acute withdrawal symptoms and suicide cases were reported in the state.
Earlier, with suicide cases being reported from various parts of the state after liquor sales were stopped here following Coronavirus Lockdown, CM Pinarayi Vijayan has directed the Excise Department to provide liquor to those with a prescription from doctors.
On Saturday, in Kodungaloor in Thrissur district, a youth committed suicide by jumping into the river after suffering from withdrawal symptoms. In another incident, a 38-year-old man working in a barbershop in Kayamkulam consumed shaving lotion after he didn’t get alcohol.
On the other hand, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Sunday flayed the Kerala government's plan to supply liquor to alcohol addicts based on doctor's prescription, saying it was not "scientific". Those showing withdrawal symptoms should be provided scientific treatment that can be given at homes or by giving medicines after admitting them to hospitals, IMA state president Dr. Abraham Varghese said.