‘Not scientific’: IMA raps Kerala’s ‘liquor prescription’ move amid Covid-19 lockdown
The Kerala chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has said that the government’s consideration of providing liquor to people with alcohol withdrawal symptoms on doctor’s prescription is not “scientifically acceptable”.
It said that symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be treated at home and at hospitals with medication, news agency ANI reported.
“Scientific treatment should be given to those who have alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It can be treated at home or in hospitals with medicines. It is not scientifically acceptable to offer alcohol to them. Doctors have no legal obligation to provide a prescription for alcohol,” it said.
It further added that writing a liquor prescription can result in the cancellation of the right to treatment.
This comes after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government is considering online sale of liquor in the state after liquor shops were shut in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Vijayan, in a press conference, said that the sudden unavailability of alcohol may lead to social problems.
CM Vijayan had directed the state excise department to provide liquor to those with a prescription from doctors.
Many people in parts of Kerala reportedly showed acute withdrawal symptoms and suicide cases were reported in the state due to non-availability of liquor. Five tipplers committed suicide on Saturday in Kerala and four in Karnataka.
After the three-week lockdown was announced on March 24, all commercial establishments including liquor shops have been shut down. The state governments have been flooded with reports of people threatening with suicides, violent bouts and withdrawal symptoms from many areas.