Due to non-availability of liquor, several people who are addicted to alcohol have turned to consuming sanitisers and this has become a matter of concern. 

At least 235 people, who have become addicted to consuming sanitisers, have been identified by the Andhra Pradesh police in Prakasam district. 

Source: www.thehindu.com

In an interview, SP Siddharth Kaushal said 35 people were identified on Sunday and 200 others were identified on Monday. He said:

We are in the process of identifying more people. It is an ongoing process and we are in continuous engagement with them, counselling them and telling them about the dangers of consuming sanitisers. 

Areas in Kurichedu, Darsi and Vinukonda mandals have been identified as containment zones, which is why, liquor shops in those areas have been shut. 

Source: indianexpress.com

Police personnel have been going door to door in the three mandals to identify people who are consuming sanitisers. During their search, they procured large number of used and unused bottles of sanitisers. SP Kaushal said:

It is a unique situation here as all the liquor shops in the three mandals are closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. There are a large number of liquor addicts in the area who drink daily. A beggar gave them the idea of consuming sanitisers. While gel sanitisers are costly, the liquid is very cheap compared to liquor.

As of now, police officials have seized the sanitisers and the addicts are being provided with counselling. Deputy SP K Praskash Rao said:

We are informing them how the harmful chemicals can cause death in a few days. All those who are now consuming sanitiser are extremely poor daily-wagers, beggars or labourers. 

According to reports, 16 people died after consuming sanitizer in lieu of alcohol in Kurichedu mandal district last week. 

Apparently, a 'sanitiser party' was held where people were consuming sanitiser mixed with water or soft drinks. 

Source: www.newindianexpress.com

A special task force has also been set up to investigate the deaths that occurred in Kurichedu district and to check on the availability and sale of cheap sanitisers in large numbers.