Coronavirus has so far claimed over 30,000 lives across the globe and 25 in India. In Kerala, on patient has succumbed to COVID-19 despite 170 positive cases. However, surprisingly there have been 9 more deaths in the state that can be indirectly attributed to coronavirus.
The closure of all liquor outlets, including bars, hotels and toddy shops during the 21-day nationwide lockdown has brought a different sort of tragedy in Kerala.
9 people have died in Kerala owing to non-availability of alcohol and majority of them have consumed suicides. According to News 18, out of the 9 deaths, seven are that of suicide, one cardiac arrest, and one who died after consuming aftershave lotion.
Kerala police said two deaths took place on Friday, four on Saturday and one on Sunday. A man lost his life on Saturday after he consumed shaving lotion when liquor was unavailable. Another man died of cardiac arrest on Sunday when he couldn’t find a bottle of alcohol.
A 46-year-old man who jumped from a building for the same reason on Sunday is undergoing treatment at a government hospital.
In the meanwhile, the state government has said that the Excise department will provide permissions to avail a fixed quota of alcohol to those addicted to liquor after obtaining a medical certificate.
The Pinaryi Vijayan government in Kerala had kept all the liquor vends open in the state till Wendesday. However, it shut down all shops after PM Modi announced the 21-day lockdown. Vijayan had then said the sudden closure of all shops would lead to social problems.
There are a total of 301 retail liquor outlets across Kerala’s 14 districts.