TORONTO — The World Health Organization (WHO) is urging everyone to minimize alcohol use and avoid drunkenness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement posted to the website of the European branch of the WHO on Tuesday, the organization warned governments that existing restrictions on the availability of alcoholic beverages “should be upheld and even reinforced” in countries that have enacted lockdown-like measures.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we 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,” Carina Ferreira-Borges, manager of the WHO Europe’s alcohol and illicit drugs program, said in the statement.
Additionally, the WHO warned that “people should minimize their alcohol consumption at any time, and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” and avoid drinking to the point of intoxication altogether, citing alcohol’s ability to harm physical and mental health.
“Stay sober so that you can remain vigilant, act quickly and make decisions with a clear head, for yourself and others in your family and community,” the organization said.
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