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General News of Friday, 24 April 2020


Why some Ghanaians depend on 'akpeteshie' for protection against coronavirus

Many are unaware that rubbing alcohol and local gins are two very different things play videoMany are unaware that rubbing alcohol and local gins are two very different things

Despite the several warnings that the intake of alcohol does not prevent Coronavirus, many are yet to be convinced.

Most people have resorted to the use of locally manufactured hard liquor (Akpeteshie) and methylated spirit in place of approved hand sanitizers to prevent themselves from being infected with disease.

Every sanitizer has alcohol as its main ingredient not to mention the fact that rubbing alcohol is a staple in many first-aid kits.

Not knowing that rubbing alcohol and the local gins ordered at the bar are two very different things, two men, in an interview GhanaWeb, said they will always go for the latter.

One of the men argued that, “If they are saying that we should wash our hands with ‘Akpeteshie’ to kill the virus, why don’t we drink it so it will go fight the virus in our blood? When we drink, it goes into our blood to fight the virus and kills the virus and then we become free.”

Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), Professor Abraham Annan, earlier warned that the wrongful use of alcohol in place of a hand sanitizer could increase the chances of contracting COVID-19.

He cautioned the public against going in for ordinary alcohol as disinfectants for hands instead of properly prepared hand sanitizers.

"Alcohol can be good for disinfection; in the laboratory, for example, we use alcohol for disinfection," he said, adding "but before the alcohol is used, we prepare it in a certain way. We, first of all, will use water that is distilled or de-iodinized. We won't use tap water or any water to prepare the alcohol for disinfection in the laboratory," he said.

But these men believe that the ‘akpeteshie’ has stronger effects than the sanitizer. One of them stated that the local gin will kill the virus faster than the sanitizer should he be infected. Thus he will protect himself by drinking akpeteshie as well as use it to wash his hands.

“Between the sanitizer and akpeteshie which one is stronger? And so when I take my two tots, the virus in me will know that there’s a stronger power and will disappear by itself. I have already drank some (akpeteshie) which is worth two cedis just this morning and from the look of things, it’s about to rain so I will go for another round. That’s how we protect ourselves…when I drink, I use some to wash my hands.”