Russian Authorities Warn Against Alcohol Abuse During Pandemic

Alcohol use in Russia has risen by 2-3% in the period of self-isolation measures introduced to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko informed.

“In general, the use of alcoholic beverages has risen by about 2-3%. <…> However, I would like to say that alcohol definitely does not help in this situation (when treating viral infections and namely the coronavirus). Alcohol weakens the immune system. It also provokes an exacerbation of cardiovascular diseases and any chronic illnesses that patients may have. So alcohol is absolutely unacceptable in this situation,” he said on Sunday in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

Murashko warned that even a small dose of alcohol can have a damaging effect on the human body, TASS reports.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus – named COVID-19 by the WHO – have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

According to the latest statistics, over 3,400,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 240,000 deaths have been reported. To date, a total of 134,687 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 16,639 patients having recovered from the virus. Russia’s latest data indicates 1,280 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.

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