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Thiruvananthapuram, March 30 (IANS) Brushing aside strong opposition from medical bodies, the Kerala government on Monday night ordered for supply of liquor to those showing withdrawal symptoms if they got certificates from government doctors.
In its order, the government said that following restrictions on account of the national lockdown, all bars, liquor retail outlets and toddy shops have been closed.
"Following this, suicides have been reported. Hence, there is a need to provide regulated supply of alcohol to such cases and it will be done," said the order.
It said that patients with withdrawal symptoms will have to get a certificate from a government doctor.
"With the prescription, the person has to approach the Excise Department which will give a pass indicating that the holder can be issued liquor. The exact quantity of liquor to be distributed will be intimated by the department in the coming days," reads the order.
Leading medical organisations, like the IMA, Kerala Government Medical Officers Association and the Indian Society of Gastroenterology's Kerala Chapter earlier condemned the proposed move and said they will not prescribe it for being against medical ethics.