Bootleg alcohol death toll rises to 44 in virus-hit Iran

Bootleg alcohol death toll rises to 44 in virus-hit Iran ... 10/03/2020 Health

Keywords:#Agence_France-Presse, #Ahwaz, #Alborz, #Alcohol, #Bootleg, #China, #France, #IRNA, #Iran, #Iranian, #Islamic, #Kermanshah, #Khuzestan, #Muslim, #Tehran,, #University

FATAL REMEDY At least 27 die from drinking industrial alcohol as ‘cure’ for coronavirus in Iran.
Agence France-Presse
Tehran, Iran / Tue, March 10, 2020
The death toll from alcohol poisoning in Iran rose to 44 Tuesday, state news agency IRNA reported, over misguided efforts to ward off the new coronavirus by drinking bootleg alcohol.
The outbreak of the virus in the Islamic republic is one of the deadliest outside of China, where the disease originated.
The highest poisoning toll struck in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, where it grew by 16 to reach 36 on Tuesday, the agency said.
They had "drank bootleg alcohol over rumors that it would be effective in treating coronavirus and were poisoned", it added.
The poisoning toll in Khuzestan is higher than its 18 direct deaths from coronavirus, according to IRNA.
Seven more people have died from bootleg alcohol in the northern region of Alborz and one in Kermanshah, western Iran.
Alcohol is banned in Iran for everyone except some non-Muslim minorities, but local media regularly report on lethal cases of poisoning from bootleg liquor.
Iran has scrambled to try to contain the spread of COVID-19 which has hit all of its 31 provinces, killing 291 people and infecting more than 8,000. /
FATAL REMEDY At least 27 die from drinking industrial alcohol as ‘cure’ for coronavirus in Iran

* * * By Christy Cooney
9 Mar 2020, 23:08Updated: 10 Mar 2020, 0:50

AT least 27 people in Iran have died from alcohol poisoning after drinking methanol while trying to protect themselves from coronavirus.
Rumours have circulated that booze, which is outlawed for most Iranians, can tackle the virus, prompting attempts to use legal industrial products as a substitute.
The Ahwaz University of Medical Sciences confirmed that 218 people had been hospitalised in the western province of Khuzestan.
Of those, at least 20 died, while a further seven deaths have been confirmed in the northern region of Alborz.
Spokesman Ali Ehsanpour said: “Some of the citizens of Ahwaz had heard that drinking alcohol could help them fight the coronavirus, so they used it as a preventive measure."
He added that, of the surviving patients, one is now blind while others are in a critical condition.
Drinking alcohol is permitted in Iran only for some non-Muslim religious minorities, but industrial alcohols intended for use in sanitation can be bought.
Mohammad Aghayari, deputy prosecutor of Alborz, told the IRNA news agency that the dead had been “misled by content online, thinking they were fighting coronavirus and curing it.”
If consumed in sufficient quantities, methanol can lead to serious liver damage as well as blindness and death.
Iran has been among the countries worst hit by the coronavirus, which has infected more than 113,000 people and killed nearly 4,000 around the world since an outbreak began in mid-December.
Fears have been raised that the Iranian regime has sought to cover up the spread of the epidemic, and that the true number of cases in the country is far higher than officially acknowledged.
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