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Iran: Death toll from toxic alcohol rises to 180

People in Gulf country consumed moonshine after rumors it eliminates coronavirus

Ahmet Dursun   | 19.03.2020
Iran: Death toll from toxic alcohol rises to 180

ANKARA 

The death toll from consumption of toxic alcohol in Iran rose by 65 on Thursday, bringing the total to 180 in nearly two weeks, local media reported. 

The development comes amid rising coronavirus cases and deaths in the Gulf country.

So far more than 17,000 people have been infected by the virus that emerged in China last year, according to latest figures by John Hopkins University's Coronavirus Research Center.

It has killed some 1,135 people in Iran alone. Of these, at least 147 died in the last 24 hours, as per Iranian state TV.

There were rumors across the country that alcohol consumption would help combat COVID-19. Hence, people started consuming moonshine in large numbers.

As many as 427 people were poisoned as a result since March 6, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

Of the total, at least 14 are in intensive care, the news agency quoted Mohammad Javad Moradian, head of Fars province's Emergencies Center, as saying.

The sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited for Muslim citizens in Iran.

Under Iranian law, those who produce, buy or sell alcoholic beverages can be sentenced to imprisonment and lashing.

Meanwhile, the worldwide tally of the virus is past 219,000 with the death toll crossing 8,800.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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