Fact Check: Yes, WHO has backed alcohol restrictions amid Covid-19

Fact Check: Yes, WHO has backed alcohol restrictions amid Covid-19

- The restrictions over alcohol have prompted immense debate and even a few lawsuits

- Many, including the Gauteng Liquor Board, questioned if the damage done by the ban was worth the benefits

- Briefly.co.za learned that the World Health Organisation actually backs the move, causing waves in Mzansi

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While alcohol was understood to be unhealthy for people in a general sense, many have been questioning if there were valid reasons to institute a ban.

With South Africa enduring lockdown minus liquor and cigarettes, the ban has riled citizens nationwide.

Despite hints that the restrictions might be relaxed coming from the Presidency, ministers forming part of the response team to the coronavirus have swiftly denied that any changes will be made.

Briefly.co.za reported that the Gauteng Liquor Board had threatened to take the matter to the Constitutional Court, adamant that the benefits did not justify the ban.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Government refuses to lift liquor ban despite hints

But the ban has received support from the World Health Organisation itself, the global leader of the fight against the virus.

In a statement on the issue, the entity commented that alcohol consumption can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviours, mental health issues and violence.

The body encouraged governments around the world to impose restrictions and to avoid relaxing them:

"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; while any relaxation of regulations or their enforcement should be avoided."

The WHO revealed that a dangerous myth concerning the consumption of alcohol has been doing the rounds:

"Fear and misinformation have generated a dangerous myth that consuming high-strength alcohol can kill the Covid-19 virus. It does not. Consuming any alcohol poses health risks, but consuming high-strength ethyl alcohol (ethanol), particularly if it has been adulterated with methanol, can result in severe health consequences, including death."

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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