More than 300 people have died and a further 1,000 have fallen ill in Iran after consuming methanol in the belief that it will protect them against the coronavirus, according to local media.
Fake remedies have spread across Iranian social media, with methanol simply the latest supposed cure. As an Islamic nation, the consumption of alcohol is banned, but bootleggers have distributed industrial alcohol.
“Other countries have only one problem, which is the new coronavirus pandemic,” said Dr. Hossein Hassanian, an adviser to Iran’s Health Ministry who claimed that the problem could be more severe than reported.
“We have to both cure the people with the alcohol poisoning and also fight the coronavirus.”
The government downplayed the crisis ahead of a parliamentary election, leaving the Iranian people with little trust in their lawmakers.
“Unfortunately in some provinces, including Khuzestan and Fars, deaths from drinking methanol has exceeded the number of deaths by the new coronavirus,” Hassanian said.
According to Fox News, after some social media posts claimed that a British school teacher and others cured themselves of the coronavirus with whisky and honey, bootleggers started packaging industrial alcohol to Iranians, with the misconception that it prevents coronavirus, since the consumption of alcohol is banned in the Islamic country.
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