“Alcohol compromises the body’s immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes,” the WHO’s regional office for Europe said on its site late Tuesday, citing heavy alcohol use throughout the continent.
Alcohol consumption is associated with a number of communicable and noncommunicable diseases that can make a person more vulnerable to contracting Covid-19. It can also exacerbate mental health issues and risk-taking behavior and stoke violence, especially in countries that have implemented social distancing measures that largely keep the population quarantined in their homes.
The WHO also published a fact sheet dispelling the “dangerous myth that consuming high-strength alcohol can kill” the coronavirus.
“It does not,” the WHO said, adding that it could result in serious health issues, including death, especially if it’s adulterated with methanol. About 3 million deaths a year are attributable to alcohol without a pandemic driving up consumption.