WHO suggests government officials restrict citizens’ access to booze during COVID-19 lockdowns

Chris White, DCNF

(Photo by Dmitry FeoktistovTASS via Getty Images)

The World Health Organization in Europe is asking government officials to restrict access to alcohol as citizens continue widespread lockdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Such restrictions are necessary because millions of people die every year from alcohol consumption, the WHO noted on its website Tuesday. Such consumption during an emergency in which people are asked to shelter in place could exacerbate “risk-taking behaviors.”

“Existing rules and regulations to protect health and reduce harm caused by alcohol, such as restricting access, should be upheld and even reinforced during the COVID-19 pandemic and emergency situations,” the WHO noted on its website.

The organization’s guidance also suggested that any “relaxation of regulations or their enforcement should be avoided.”

“Alcohol is consumed in excessive quantities in the European Region, and leaves too many victims,” Carina Ferreira-Borges, the program manager of the Alcohol and Illicit Drugs Program, WHO/Europe said in a statement published on the website.

She added: “[W]e should really ask ourselves what risks we are taking in leaving people under lockdown in their homes with a substance that is harmful both in terms of their health and the effects of their behaviour on others, including violence.”

WHO received critical coverage after repeatedly stating in early and mid-January that Wuhan health care workers weren’t becoming infected with COVID-19, which originated in China before landing in the United States, where it has killed more than 25,000 people. It’s killed 128,000 people worldwide.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reported in March on WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s close ties to China.

Tedros effusively praised China for what he considers a transparent response to coronavirus, or COVID-19, before Chinese officials told the WHO in mid-January that the virus was not transmittable from animals to humans.

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