Greenland Bans Alcohol Sales To Reduce Child Abuse As Coronavirus Hits

For several weeks after the start of the global coronavirus pandemic there was a running joke that Trump's offer to purchase Greenland was brilliant in hindsight as the northern island appeared immune to any the covid cases. That all changed on March 16 when the territory registered its first case.

Fast forward to today when dpa reports that Greenland has banned alcohol consumption in the capital Nuuk and nearby settlements in a bid to decrease incidences of child abuse as people stay inside to avoid spreading coronavirus. 

The Sunday decision from Greenland's government bans all sales of alcoholic drinks with immediate effect in Nuuk and in the settlements of Kapisillit and Qeqertarsuatsiaat until April 15. Explaining the move, Prime Minister Kim Kielsen said the coronavirus emergency response had necessitated a lot of different responses.

"But at the heart of my decision is protecting children," Kielsen said. "They should have a secure home."

Perhaps due to its location where social distancing was a given long before the coronavirus emerged, Greenland has a well-documented history of sexual abuse of minors, with some studies showing one in three adults living there having experienced it as a child. Many have linked the phenomenon to increased incidences of alcohol and drug abuse, among other things.

Under the influence of alcohol, people were also less aware, increasing the risk of infection with coronavirus, Kielsen said on Sunday.

So far only ten people have tested positive for coronavirus in Greenland. No one has died.

Greenland is largely independent, but officially belongs to Denmark; Last August Trump sparked a diplomatic scandal when he suggested buying Greenland (the purchase price was never disclosedd), sparking Denmark's fury. Around 55,000 people live on the territory, which is the largest island on earth. About a third of them live in the capital Nuuk.