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Fear of Covid infection has reduced alcohol consumption in Thailand, study shows

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Thais have generally cut down their consumption of alcohol in a bid to protect themselves from Covid-19, a recent survey conducted by the Centre of Alcohol Studies shows.

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The centre’s director Prof Dr Sawitri Assanangkornchai said a telephone survey was conducted on 1,555 samples aged 18 and above in 15 provinces from April 24 to 28.

In the survey, 41.9 per cent said they had consumed alcohol regularly for a year before the survey, 32.4 per cent said they drink at least once a week, while 21.3 per cent said they drink large amounts.

However, 28.4 per cent said they had stopped drinking a month before the survey, 41.9 per cent had cut down their drinking, 28.1 per cent were drinking as usual and 1.6 per cent had started drinking more.

“Those who have stopped or reduced their drinking say they are afraid of contracting Covid-19 and want to save money. Those who are drinking as usual or have increased their consumption say they can either not give up drinking or are being pushed to drink by their peers,” the professor explained.

She added that 59 per cent of the respondents said they suffered financial difficulties due to the economic fallout of Covid-19, 6 per cent said they were worried and 8 per cent said they were depressed.

"This survey also showed that measures to control drinking, such as the temporary closure of entertainment venues and banning alcohol at restaurants have affected people’s drinking behavior,” Sawitri said.

 

Meanwhile, Dr Khamnuan Ungchoosak, an adviser with the Department of Disease Control, added that cutting down on the consumption of alcohol can cut down the risk of Covid-19 infection, violence and unnecessary expenses.

Published : June 04, 2021

By : The Nation