Drinking alcohol may put people at increased risk for the coronavirus, the World Health Organization announced this week.

The WHO said drinking alcohol could weaken people’s immune system and leave drinkers at risk for participating in more risk behaviors, which could increase the risk of contracting coronavirus.

The World Health Organization’s regional office for Europe said in a statement:

“Alcohol is known to be harmful to health in general, and is well understood to increase the risk of injury and violence, including intimate partner violence, and can cause alcohol poisoning. At times of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviors, mental health issues and violence. WHO/Europe reminds people that drinking alcohol does not protect them from COVID-19, and encourages governments to enforce measures which limit alcohol consumption.”

According to the WHO, alcohol consumption can lead to “communicable and noncommunicable diseases and mental health disorders, which can make a person more vulnerable to COVID-19.

“Therefore, people should minimize their alcohol consumption at any time, and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.”