Over 700 people have died in Iran after ingesting toxic methanol, thinking it can cure the coronavirus disease.
An adviser to the health ministry, Hossein Hassanian, said on Monday that alcohol poisoning killed 728 Iranians between February 20 and April 7.
According to him, the false belief that toxic methanol cures coronavirus has increased the death tallies of alcohol poisoning, including victims who died outside of hospital.
“Some 200 people died outside of hospitals,” Hassanian told The Associated Press.
Alcohol poisoning has skyrocketed by 10 times over, in Iran in the past year, according to a government report released earlier in April, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year there were only 66 deaths from alcohol poisoning. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, alcohol poisoning has seen a 10-fold increase in Iran in the past year.
Iranian health ministry spokesman, Kianoush Jahanpour, said 525 people have died from swallowing toxic methanol alcohol since Feb. 20, adding that a total of 5,011 people had been poisoned from methanol alcohol.
Jahanpour noted that some 90 people have lost their eye sight or are suffering eye damage from the alcohol poisoning. (Hassanian also said the final tally of people who lost their eye sight could be much higher.)
Iran is facing the worst coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East with 5,806 deaths and more than 91,000 confirmed cases.