The Alcohol ban in Kerala seems to be more threatening than the virus that originated in Wuhan. While the state has reported 2 deaths because of the novel coronavirus, it has witnessed over 7 deaths because of the alcohol ban.
The state of Kerala has the highest per capita liquor consumption in the country. Due to the 21 day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the state is forced to shut all its liquor shops. In the past week alone, a total of 7 people have committed suicide out of the depression of not being able to buy liquor.
On Saturday alone, two people killed themselves in Kollam, one committed suicide in Kannur, another two attempted to kill themselves and a 35-year-old was admitted to hospital for de-addiction after he turned violent. According to the state data, Kerala has a total of 1.6 million liquor addicts. Meanwhile, the number of deaths due to the deadly COVID-19 is only 2.
Problem Increases for Kerala
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had cited social unrest if the liquor shops were shut because of which the state delayed closing the shops. Once the shops were shut, his worst fears came true. The state hospitals have already been overwhelmed with the coronavirus cases but last week it witnessed families admitting patients who developed withdrawal symptoms of alcohol addiction.
Following this, the state set certain guidelines. The state has directed the primary health care centers to look after the de-addiction cases as to be the safety net for bigger hospitals that are dealing with corona. The state also asked every district hospital to arrange 10-20 beds for de-addiction patients. ‘
The situation began slipping out of hands as people screaming and proclaiming that they would die if they didn’t get alcohol. There was a sudden spike in drug consumption in order to treat alcohol addiction. Follow this distress, Chief Minister Vijayan said that the state will provide alcohol to those who have a prescription from a doctor. However, the Kerala High Court on Wednesday stayed the center’s order to provide liquor for three weeks in what is being called as a setback for the Communist party-led government.