Pavel Shapkin, chairman of the Russian consumer rights protection union said on Saturday that vodka and cognac sales in Russia may have risen by 20 percent in March amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We expect a rise in March sales of all alcohol products. Speaking about vodka and cognac, there could be a 20 percent increase in sales compared to March 2019, with a 10 percent increase in wine sales and a 5 percent increase in beer sales. We expect a much higher increase in alcohol sales in April," Shapkin said.
The increase in sales has been driven not only by self-isolation, which drives people to drink more alcohol, but by makeshift disinfection measures as well.
Earlier, Ilya Akinfiyev, the chief infectious disease doctor from Moscow's central district, advised that vodka could be used for disinfection purposes at home or at work.
According to the recent official data provided bu the World Health Organisation, the total number of people infected with COVID-19 reached 976,249 as of Friday, while the number of fatalities reached 50,489. At the same time, the number of coronavirus cases registered in Russia has reached 4,731 with 43 fatalities.