TEHRAN (Iran News) – Twenty-seven people have died from methanol poisoning in Iran after rumors that drinking alcohol can help cure the novel coronavirus infection.
The outbreak of the virus in Iran is one of the deadliest outside of China, where the disease originated.
Twenty have died in the southwestern province of Iran, Khuzestan and seven in the northern province of Alborz after consuming methanol alcohol, IRNA reported.
Drinking alcohol is banned in Iran for everyone.
Local media regularly report on lethal cases of poisoning caused by bootleg liquor. A spokesman for Jundishapur Medical University in Ahvaz, the capital of Khuzestan, said 218 people had been hospitalized after being poisoned.
The intoxication cases were caused by “rumors that drinking alcohol can be effective in treating coronavirus,” Ali Ehsanpour said.
Ahvaz judiciary officials said on Monday that five people have been arrested in the city over distributing the drinking alcohol.
The deputy prosecutor of Ahvaz, Mohammad Aqayari, told IRNA the dead had drunk methanol after being “misled by content online, thinking they were fighting coronavirus and curing it.”
If ingested in large quantities, methanol can cause blindness, liver damage, and death.
Iran has been scrambling to contain the spread of the COVID-19 which has hit all of the country’s provinces, killing at least 237 people and infecting more than 7,000.
According to IRNA, 16 out of 69 confirmed cases died of coronavirus infection in Khuzestan as of Sunday.
The country’s health care system, burdened by US sanctions, has faced shortages in supplies and medicine as it fights to contain the crisis.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews