13 May 2020 14:43

Russians dying from alcohol more frequently during self-isolation, Health Ministry suggests increasing drinking age to 21

MOSCOW. May 13 (Interfax) - The alcohol-related death rate in Russia has grown during the pandemic, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said.

Murashko suggested considering increasing the age for purchasing alcohol to 21.

"We have operative death monitoring data. Unfortunately, the role of alcohol in the death rate structure began to increase during this period," he said.

An initiative to increase the age for alcohol sales to 21 has already been discussed, Murashko said. "I think, why not, if deputies are ready to implement it," he said.

"If you look at the statistics, the death rate for men and women starts changing sharply after the age of 18. Before the age of 18, the figures are about the same, and after 18, when life becomes freer, the death rate among boys immediately climbs," Murashko said.

"I wouldn't want to say anything cardinal now, but I think we need to think. Because reduction of alcohol consumption is to a certain extent a way to reduce the death rate and the sickness rate. This can be done today to prevent the formation of a culture of attachment in the future," he said.

Murashko said earlier that Russians had started consuming more alcohol during the period of self-isolation, which was imposed due to the coronavirus situation in the country.