While the coronavirus pandemic has been bringing out several newfound conditions among humans, one bizarre affliction that seems to have surfaced has been an addiction to drinking sanitiser.
As per reports, police in Andhra Pradesh has identified at least 230 such people who are addicted to drinking sanitisers.
Several such cases were identified in the Prakasam district on Monday, The Indian Express reported. This after sixteen people reportedly died in the same district last week after drinking sanitiser. Some of the victims had been part of a "sanitiser party" which had been conducted on July 29.
As per a report in The Times of India, the number of deaths is much higher at 36.
It also reported that cases had been recorded in other regions such as Visakhapatnam, West Godavari, Guntur, Vijaywada and Kadapa apart from Prakasam.
While gel sanitisers are expensive, liquid sanitisers are cheap and can be easily replaced with booze.
The rise in cases comes after the scarcity of alcohol during the coronavirus lockdown with the police of the belief that several such deaths had gone unreported. With a rise in coronavirus, the sale of alcohol has been prohibited in several districts in AP, causing desperate alcohol-dependent persons to drink harmful sanitizer in the hopes of getting high.
Andhra Pradesh is known for the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse. As per a June report in TOI, as many as 200 lives were annually lost in AP due to drug and alcohol abuse.
Police are now on a mission to identify such addicts, cease their supply of sanitisers and offer them counselling instead.