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Re-opening bars: ADIC wants decision withdrawn

20 April 2020 02:30 pm - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC) said today experts and all who love the nation were astounded by the government’s decision to re-open bars along with relaxation of curfew and urged the President to take urgent action against this scheme.

It said in a statement that it was unacceptable for the government who was acting on a scientific basis to address COVID-19 to now abandon all scientific evidence and re-open bars.

The full statement:

Sri Lanka has been able to control the COVID-19 pandemic effectively due to the timely and accurate decisions taken to curb the pandemic. The success we have achieved so far in controlling the pandemic was achieved as our leadership acted upon the recommendations of public health experts.

Experts and all who love our nation are astounded by the recent decision of the government to re-open bars along with relaxation of curfew. In the recommendations by public health specialists in “Exit strategy of COVID-19 epidemic in Sri Lanka Recommendations of the College of Community Physicians” it is clearly stated that bars and alcohol outlets should not be opened. Even without specialist knowledge, any individual can understand that opening bars is not an appropriate decision during this pandemic.

Re-opening bars against the recommendations of public health specialists will lead to the following consequences:
1.    Alcohol consumption weakens the immune system leading to increased risk of contracting coronavirus among alcohol users.

2.    Alcohol use can increase road traffic accidents from driving under the influence of alcohol, this will unnecessarily increase the burden on the healthcare system, doctors, nurses and hospital personnel, emergency services, law enforcement officers and public resources, which are already strained due to the pandemic.

3.    Increasing of using alcohol as an excuse to domestic violence and public conflict will lead to further burdening of the healthcare system, emergency services and law enforcement.

4.    Individuals who use alcohol in lower-socio economic levels spending money on alcohol will further increase the strain on these families.

5.    Crowding near bars / alcohol outlets will hinder physical distancing measures.

6.    Further obstruction to physical distancing as alcohol is generally consumed in groups.

It is unacceptable for the government who was acting on a scientific basis to address COVID-19 to now abandon all scientific evidence and re-open bars. This scheme conspired by the alcohol industry, certain government officials and certain politicians undermines the President’s plan to rid the country of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC) expects the President will take urgent action against this scheme and safeguard the nation and all Sri Lankans.

  Comments - 9

  • Hassanda Monday, 20 April 2020 08:48 PM

    Its Alarming and a Stupid decision by the Govt To Open Liquor Shops - Human Lives are killed in Thousands due to this pandemic n people are starving for food - where is our Buddhist Religious Leaders Y dont they voice out their protest

    Samson Monday, 20 April 2020 08:58 PM

    Instructions was for liquor stores to open and not liquor bars. People must understand this.

    SL Monday, 20 April 2020 09:34 PM

    What's the point of even opening a liquor store when knowingly it will result in many social issues. Please dont try to justify your ignaront thought

    Edward Monday, 20 April 2020 09:49 PM

    By not opening the wine stores you are only leaving for illicit stuff to float to the users.People know their limits.

    Mohamed Ghouse Monday, 20 April 2020 09:59 PM

    Wives who are under tremendous pressure these days due to the lockdown and struggling to keep the home fires burning would have felt dismayed at the Govt decision to open liquor stores The limited resources that are available due to loss of employment especially amongst the daily wage earners will substantially be now siphoned to buy alcohol thus affecting the family intake of food and may even increase domestic violence

    dickie bird Monday, 20 April 2020 10:07 PM

    Mr. President do not make a stupid of yourself. Unanimous request to the People's president to close Bars/Wine Stores indefinitely. REPEAT... THE PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA APPEAL.

    Ari Monday, 20 April 2020 10:25 PM

    Opening liquor shops is a very controversial and a tough decision for the government as there are both pros and cons. Loss of government revenue, increase in illicit brewing, domestic violence by addicts who takeout their frustration against family members are some of the pros.

    Upali jayasinhe Sunday, 26 April 2020 11:19 AM

    Keeping the liquor shops closed will only help the kassipu dens to earn more money and create more health problems.

    Don H M Arachchi Sunday, 26 April 2020 12:10 PM

    Simple answer The alcohol is not considered as essential food or goods and the curfew lift to buy essential items required to sustain livelihood I believe


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