Alcohol-based hand sanitizers have been in high demand around the world ever since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus pandemic late last year. Hand sanitizers are one among the key products that help keep the COVID-19 virus at bay and are recommended by medical officials and health officials. That said, some people in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal have been using hand sanitizers as a substitute to liquor considering it is alcohol-based. They have resorted to buying hand sanitizers from medical shops and mixing the contents with water and drinking it. A few have also claimed that companies that manufacture low-priced liquor have also begun making hand sanitizers in the same brand name and are much cheaper than a normal brand of alcohol.
In a fresh set of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday regarding the lockdown extension till May 18, the government had given permission for the reopening of liquor shops in Green and Orange Zones across the country with the decision now ultimately remaining within the administrations in the states whether to open or keep them closed. Warnings have been issued by doctors who have stated that there is a high likelihood of death in the event of over-consumption of sanitizers since they contain up to 80 percent alcohol and are double the content than usually found in whisky.
Hand sanitizers are said to contain almost 70 percent alcohol, glycerine and hydrogen peroxide, which is poisonous in nature. However, the excise department in Bhopal has said that no complaints of consumption of hand sanitizers have been made till now. Assistant Commissioner of Excise Sanjeev Dube said, "People consuming hand sanitizers in the want of liquor haven't come to our notice. Maybe the cases could be too few. We only render Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA) to distilleries. What these distilleries are manufacturing and their quality and safety parameters under WHO guidelines are monitored by the Drug Controller,".
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