Kerala

Bevco working on logistics to make alcohol available

Illustration: sreejith r.kumar

Illustration: sreejith r.kumar   | Photo Credit: sreejith r.kumar

KGMOA to observe black day, says order detrimental to individual’s health

Alcoholics who succeeded in securing prescriptions from doctors to get their daily dose of booze may have to wait for one more day to get their hand on the bottle.

Since the first day of every month is observed as dry day in the State, they may not be able to buy their quota of alcohol from the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) on April 1. On April 2, Bevco may make alcohol available on production of the medical pass certified by the Excise Department.

Since the government has ordered the closure of liquor outlets, including retail outlets of the corporation, bars, clubs, and toddy shops, alcohol may have to be made available through the warehouses or godowns of the corporation, a senior Bevco official said.

Bevco is working on the logistics to make alcohol available based on the permits to be issued by the Excise Department. The quantity of the Indian Made Foreign Liquor to be made available will depend on the permit issued by the department, he said.

On Tuesday, the first day after the government issued an order permitting medical passes for the alcoholics, the Excise Department received as many as 30 applications.

“Some applications were rejected as the certificates indicating that the patient had alcohol withdrawal symptoms were issued by retired doctors. Only serving government medical doctors are authorised to issue such certificates,” said S. Aananthakrishnan, Excise Commissioner.

The valid applications are being processed. The role of the department is confined to the issuance of passes and the distribution of alcohol will be the responsibility of Bevco. The department expects a few more applications in the coming days as there can be more such persons, he said.

Those alcoholics who want to get medical passes should present themselves for examination at government hospitals. They will be provided a fixed quantity of alcohol if the doctor certifies that the person has alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The medical passes for procuring alcohol will be issued after the certificate is verified at the nearest range or circle office of the Excise Department, according to a government order.

Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran has urged Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to roll back the decision, which is unethical and against the accepted treatment protocol.

KGMOA protest

Meanwhile, the Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association would observe Wednesday as black day and all doctors in the Health Services would be wearing black badges to work. This is to express their protest against the order that makes doctors liable for an act that could lead to further deterioration of an individual’s health, directly or indirectly.

KGMOA president Joseph Chacko said the government order was unethical. “A prescription is incomplete without the treatment protocol. If a person is diagnosed with alcohol withdrawal symptoms, the treatment too should be written down.”

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 4:13:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/bevco-working-on-logistics-to-make-alcohol-available/article31221984.ece

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