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How not to tame a ‘spirit’ed dragon

Methanol for many gullible tipplers is a drink to die for, literally! The fatal thirst to consume a spurious chemical like methyl alcohol, limited to medical purposes, is a bad choice born out of igno

Published: 30th July 2017 01:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2017 08:23 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Methanol for many gullible tipplers is a drink to die for, literally! The fatal thirst to consume a spurious chemical like methyl alcohol, limited to medical purposes, is a bad choice born out of ignorance. But that’s not the case when authorities in the know are sitting pretty doing nothing about it. That’s criminal negligence! The paucity of drug inspectors in the state has raised doubts about the resolve of the authorities to curb the gross misuse of the chemical.

Though the State Drugs Department has launched a massive drive against the abuse of methyl alcohol, the department is apparently a lame duck. With only a few drug inspectors in each district, keeping a tab on distributors and hospitals becomes a tall task.
The drive comes in the wake of deaths due to  methanol poisoning reported from Kozhikode.
“It was launched to ensure distributors and hospitals storing hazardous chemicals adhered to stipulated guidelines, said State Drugs Controller in-charge Ravi S Menon.The department has began identifying distributors who supply the chemical in bulk. A list of such distributors is being collected from all districts, Menon said.Apart from identifying bulk distributors, the department has also decided to prepare a list of all hospitals and clinics who buy the supplies. A consolidated list will be ready within two weeks, he said.

“The department will also collect details of the quantity of the chemical flowing into the state and how much is being distributed in various districts.”
He said the drug inspectors will ensure the distributors bring in only the required quantity of the chemical to the state. Besides, they will also check if the hospitals stock only the prescribed quantity, he said.
“We are trying to ensure all hospitals follow proper protocol while storing and handling such chemicals. The hospitals will face action if guidelines are not adhered to,” Menon said.Kozhikode is said to be the transit point for bulk distribution of methyl alcohol. The drug inspectors in the district have been asked to be more vigil and to take stock of the situation. Besides, it’s suspected that methanol is being smuggled into the state. The demand for the ‘spirit’ soared when the bars were closed down in the state.



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