Kerala, Mar 30, 2020: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government is considering the option of online sale of liquor in the state after liquor shops were shut in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, news agency ANI reported.
Vijayan, in a press conference, said that the sudden unavailability of alcohol may lead to social problems.
CM Vijayan has directed the state excise department to provide liquor to those with a prescription from doctors, ANI reported.
Kerala government has also asked authorities at the excise department to provide free treatment to those with withdrawal symptoms and admit people de-addiction centres.
The move comes after many reportedly showed acute withdrawal symptoms and suicide cases were reported in the state.
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.
With over 200 coronavirus cases, Kerala is one of the worst affected states in the country.
Vijayan on Sunday said that the state will pursue rapid testing to detect possible community transmission of coronavirus.
“@WHO has stressed the importance of testing in the fight against the pandemic. Kerala has decided to pursue a rapid testing for COVID-19. Blood samples of those under observation will be collected to detect possible community transmission,” Vijayan tweeted out.
As per the data released by the ministry of health, the national tally of Covid-19 cases stands at 1,024 of which 901 are active cases, 95 people have been cured and 27 people have died from Covid-19. Over 15 lakh people have been screened at various airports till now.