Consuming high-strength alcohol does not kill the COVID-19 virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday in an effort to dispel fake news.
“Fear and misinformation have generated a dangerous myth that consuming high-strength alcohol can kill the COVID-19 virus. It does not,” WHO Europe wrote on Tuesday.
“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,” it added.
The UN organisation instead called on governments to enforce measures which limit consumption of alcohol, particularly in countries under confinement.
“At times of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviours, mental health issues and violence,” it went on to say.
In the first two weeks of the French lockdown, reports of domestic violence jumped by more than 30%, the country’s interior ministry revealed late last month.
The National Domestic Abuse helpline in the UK has seen a 25% increase in calls and online requests for help.
According to WHO, three million people lose their lives every year to alcohol, a third of whom are in Europe.