The death toll from consumption of toxic alcohol in Iran rose by 72 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 255 since March 6, local media reported.
IRNA quoted Mohammad Javad Moradian, the head of Fars province's Emergencies Center, as saying that some 592 people were poisoned by tainted alcohol.
People consumed illicit liquor after rumors spread that it prevented from contracting the coronavirus, the viral infection that has claimed nearly 20,000 lives worldwide.
The sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited for Muslim citizens in Iran.
Under the Iranian law, those who produce, buy or sell alcoholic beverages can be sentenced to imprisonment and lashing.
Some 143 people in Iran have died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 2,077, according to the Gulf nation's health authorities.
At least 2,206 people have tested positive since Tuesday, bringing the total to 27,017.
After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the virus has spread to at least 172 countries and regions.
Out of more than 438,500 confirmed cases globally, the death toll nears 20,000, while more than 111,890 have recovered, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
*Writing by Zehra Nur DuzAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.