Your Covid-19 questions answered

Can drinking alcohol protect you from Covid-19?

21 September 2021 - 07:00
Drinking alcohol will not destroy the virus - in fact its consumption is likely to increase the health risks if a person becomes infected with the virus.Stock photo.
Drinking alcohol will not destroy the virus - in fact its consumption is likely to increase the health risks if a person becomes infected with the virus.Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/stockfotocz

While some may believe that drinking alcohol has the same effect as hand sanitiser to protect against Covid-19, this is not the case.

In no way can drinking alcohol protect you from Covid-19 or prevent you from being infected by it.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), drinking alcohol will not destroy the virus - in fact its consumption is likely to increase the health risks if a person becomes infected with the virus.

“Alcohol (at a concentration of at least 60% by volume) works as a disinfectant on your skin, but it has no such effect within your system when ingested,” said WHO. “It will not disinfect your mouth and throat and it will not give you any kind of protection against Covid-19.

“Alcohol has a deleterious effect on your immune system and will not stimulate immunity and virus resistance.”

To slow down the spread of the virus, WHO recommends physical distancing of at least 1m from sick people as a protective measure.

“Bars, casinos, nightclubs, restaurants and other places where people gather to consume alcohol increase the risk of transmission of the virus. Physical distancing therefore reduces the availability of alcohol, so it presents a great opportunity to reduce your drinking and become healthier,” said WHO.

If you are going to drink alcohol during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is advised to keep it to a minimum and avoid getting intoxicated, says WHO.


subscribe