A 38-year-old man allegedly committed suicide at Thavanur near Kunnamkulam, Kerala on Friday after he failed to get liquor during the countrywide lockdown.
According to the reports, the deceased has been identified as Sanoj, a native of Thuvanoor in Kunnamkulam. The relatives of the deceased said that he was upset for the past two days following the non-availability of alcohol.
Sanoj, who worked as a painting worker was found hanging in his room in his house on Friday morning.
According to Kunnamkulam CI Suresh KG, Sanoj had turned violent on Thursday night as he could not get alcohol. A case has been registered and the post mortem will be conducted, he added.
Earlier, the state govt has listed all beverages as essential items, which meant alcohol was exempted from lockdown announced by the state govt on 23rd March and they were permitted to be sold at state-run Bevco outlets with restrictions. But later the Kerala govt decided to shut all liquor stores and bars in the state after the nationwide lockdown was declared by the prime minister.
The lockdown of Bevco outlets and bars could trigger withdrawal symptoms among alcohol addicts in Kerala, which has the highest per capita alcohol consumption in the country. According to Kerala Excise department, nearly 30 per cent of the male population in the state are habituated to alcohol and the sudden stoppage of drinking may lead to a spike in social issues and domestic violence.
To deal with this dangerous situation, the Kerala government has decided to offer help to people who might go bonkers in the absence of liquor. “We expect such cases. So, we have opened more de-addiction centres in the state. It is a big social issue,” AC Moideen, the state minister who belongs to Thrissur, said.
The Liquor outlets in the southern states have been closed till April 14 as part of the 21-day lockdown across the country put in place to ensure social distancing to check the coronavirus pandemic.
Kerala is one of the worst-affected states due to the Chinese COVID-19 outbreak in the country. The state was already in a lockdown state when on Tuesday evening, the central government announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown beginning midnight.
More than 78,560 persons are under surveillance in the state in the view of suspected exposure to novel Coronavirus. Thirty-nine more persons in Kerala were tested COVID-19 positive in Kerala on Friday alone taking the total number of Chinese virus active patients now to 176 in the state.