Alcohol poisoning killed at least 300 people in Iran after people started drinking methanol following a rumor that it could cure coronavirus.
According to media reports in Iran, a country where alcohol is prohibited, over 1,000 people have already been poisoned by drinking methanol.
The news comes as Tehran reported 144 more deaths from the virus on Friday, bringing the death toll to 2,378 in total.
The number of cases has now reached 32,300, an international expert even thinks that the country is underestimating its figures while minimizing the matter for days before the parliamentary elections.
Ideas for fake remedies, including methanol, have spread to social media in Iran because people feel suspicious of the government after reporting that they have downplayed the severity of the coronavirus.
Iran, which is home to 80 million people, has been particularly affected by the pandemic.
The clinical toxicologist, dr. Knut Erik Hovda, told The Daily Mail: “The virus is spreading and people are dying, and I think they are even less aware of the fact that there are other dangers around.”
There is no known cure for coronavirus yet, but some people in Iran have received wrong messages from social media.
Iranian social media reports in Farsi erroneously suggested that a teacher and some other people had been cured of the disease after drinking whiskey mixed with honey.
The story was based on an article published in February.
This was confused with messages about the value of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and people began to believe that drinking acid-proof alcohol would cure coronavirus.
Iranian media videos show people on IV drip in the hospital, including a five-year-old boy who had gone blind from alcohol poisoning.
The government ensures that toxic methanol producers add artificial color to their products so that people can distinguish it from ethanol, which is the type of alcohol used in drinks, although it is illegal in Iran.
Yet some bootleggers in Iran use a combination of methanol and bleach to cover the different color, so sell it as drinkable.
You can’t smell or taste methanol in drinks, but it causes a delay in the organ and brain damage.
The problem was already prevalent in Iran even before the COVID-19 epidemic.
Methanol poisoning affected 768 people and killed 78 between September and October 2018, according to a study.