Award Banner
Award Banner

Bootleg booze kills 27 in Iran after coronavirus 'cure' rumours

Bootleg booze kills 27 in Iran after coronavirus 'cure' rumours
A member of Iranian Border Guards wears a protective face mask, following an outbreak of the new coronavirus, inside the Shalamcha Border Crossing, after Iraq shut a border crossing to travellers between Iraq and Iran, Iraq March 8, 2020.
PHOTO: Reuters

TEHERAN - 27 people have died from methanol poisoning in Iran after rumours that drinking alcohol can help cure the coronavirus infection, state news agency IRNA reported on Monday (March 9).

The outbreak of the virus in Islamic republic is one of the deadliest outside of China, where the disease originated.

20 have died in the southwestern province of Khuzestan and seven in the northern region of Alborz after consuming bootleg alcohol, IRNA said.

Drinking alcohol is banned in Iran for everyone except some non-Muslim religious minorities.

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 hospitalised there after being poisoned.

The poisoning was caused by "rumours that drinking alcohol can be effective in treating coronavirus," Ali Ehsanpour said.

The deputy prosecutor of Alborz, Mohammad Aghayari, 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 illness which has hit all of the country's 31 provinces, killing 237 people and infecting 7,161.

According to IRNA, 16 out of 69 confirmed cases have died of coronavirus infection in Khuzestan as of Sunday.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.