44 Iranians dead after mistakenly using alcohol to ‘fight the coronavirus’

At least 44 people died from alcohol poisoning in Iran while trying to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.

“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,” Ali Ehsanpour, spokesman for Ahwaz University of Medical Sciences, said Monday to the Mehr News Agency, ABC News reported.

There have been 8,042 confirmed coronavirus infections in Iran and 291 fatalities from the virus, making it the hardest hit country in the Middle East. Iran has a ban on alcohol, and some people were poisoned by drinking industrial alcohol intended for sanitizing, according to the network.

At least 218 Iranians were reportedly hospitalized for alcohol poisoning in medical centers affiliated with Ahwaz University of Medical Sciences. Ehsanpour confirmed that some are in critical condition, and one patient was blinded.

Mohammad Aghayari, deputy prosecutor of the city of Karaj, told the Iranian Students’ News Agency, meanwhile, that seven people were killed from alcohol poisoning in the province of Alborz.

Iran has faced a shortage of sanitizers and preventative gear for medical professionals in the country, ABC News noted.

Tito’s Vodka went viral last week after warning users that vodka products cannot be used to make hand sanitizer to protect against the spread of coronavirus.

–This report was updated at 1:51 p.m.

Tags Coronavirus Hand sanitizer Iran

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