Hyderabad: Less than a week into the lock down in Telangana in view of the deadly coronavirus, leading to complete shutdown of all wine shops, bars and liquor shops, five deaths have been reported, due to alcohol withdrawal symptoms, while at least three have harmed themselves across the state. On Saturday alone four deaths were reported from Nizamabad, Khammam districts and Hyderabad. The victims include a woman in Nizamabad district, who allegedly consumed floor cleaning phenyl mistaking it to toddy. Even on Sunday, a man allegedly slashed his wrist at Khairatabad of Hyderabad, after he could not get alcohol.

While there is primary confirmation that these victims took the extreme steps, due to lack of alcohol supply due to the sudden and extended lockdown, officials are yet to confirm the causes of death. Meanwhile, Nizamabad government hospital has arranged a special ward for treating persons with withdrawal symptoms.

Experts opine that with sudden closure of liquor shops, people addicted to alcohol develop withdrawal symptoms. Further, there were instances of people displaying abnormal behaviour at homes and in some places, becoming aggressive with their family members.

Even as booze and toddy lovers were worried about such incidents, a message was widely circulated on Saturday that orders have been issued to keep the wine shops open for an hour every day, starting from Sunday. As this message was flashed on all mobiles through social media platforms, people started celebrating, but Excise department clarified immediately that the order copy which was being circulated was fake and also lodged a complaint with police, to take action against the crooks who circulated the fake message.

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