A total of 73 people have lost their lives in a week after consuming toxic alcohol in Iran, an official said on Thursday.
The official IRNA news agency quoted Ali Ehsanpour, spokesman of Ahwaz University of Medical Sciences as saying that, since March 6, more than 500 people have visited hospitals in Khuzestan province, as a result of the poisoning alcohol.
At least 46 people died in Khuzestan, 15 in Alborz and 12 in Mazandaran.
Ehsanpour attributed the surge in deaths by contaminated alcohol to the rumors claiming that drinking alcohol eliminates the coronavirus.
The sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages are prohibited among the Muslim citizens in Iran. Under Iranian law, those who produce, buy or sell alcoholic beverages can be sentenced to imprisonment and lashing.
On Wednesday, Iranian authorities said the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 354.
The novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, last December and has now spread to 114 countries.
The global death toll is now almost 4,300, with around 118,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which has declared the outbreak a global pandemic.
*Writing by Mahmoud BarakatAnadolu 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.