With bars and clubs closed across the Territory as part of COVID-19 prevention measures, the Government is cautioning residents not to drink hand sanitizers in place of rum.
It is unclear what prompted the Government's decision to issue the warning and whether health officials actually encountered a case where someone would have taken a sip of hand sanitizers in place of their usual cocktail.
"Do not drink or taste hand sanitizers in place of alcoholic beverages. This can result in poising or death," stated a warning issued today, September 21 by the Joint Information Cell - Health Emergency Operations Centre.
Sanitizers are in high demand across the globe, prompting some rum and gin companies to shift manufacturing from spirits to alcohol-based hand sanitizers and disinfectants to minimize transmission of COVID
-19. Many of the manufacturers have packed hand sanitizers in bottles that usually carry rum, but with a label warning against ingesting the contents.
Doctors have long cautioned against injecting and drinking sanitizers and disinfectants to treat COVID
-19. Health officials were particular vocal after U.S. President Donald Trump
had suggested injesting the cleaning agents as a form to beat the virus.