44 people in Iran died due to consumption of bootleg alcohol due to the rumours that it can cure coronavirus infection. Also, hundreds have been hospitalized after consuming the methanol in an effort to curb the disease, state news agency IRNA reported.
Iran has been badly hit hard by the COVID-19 epidemic spread through its 31 provinces with more than 8000 confirmed cases and 291 deaths till Tuesday.
A false rumour has been spread across the country that drinking alcohol can cure or prevent coronavirus. According to the Health Ministry Official Ali Ehsanpour, the deceased and others who are hospitalized consumed the toxic methanol instead of ethanol. Seven bootleggers have been arrested in connection with the incident.
In Khuzestan, more people have died from alcohol poisoning than overall dead due to coronavirus. More than 30 died due to alcohol and 18 have died due to coronavirus.
The Southwestern province of Khuzestan witnessed the highest poisoning toll when it grew by 16 to reach 36 on Tuesday, the report of news agency IRNS suggested. It stated, “they had drunk bootleg alcohol over rumours that it would be effective in treating coronavirus and were poisoned.”
In the Northern Iranian region Alborz, more than seven people have died from bootleg alcohol and one in western Iran’s Kermanshah.
Despite the ban on alcohol in Iran except for some non-Muslim minorities, the regular reports of lethal cases of poisoning from bootleg liquor circulate in the local media.