18:43 GMT23 April 2021
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    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (496)

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The death toll from mass alcohol poisoning in southwestern Iran has risen to 36, the IRIB news agency reported on Tuesday, citing Ahwaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, amid false rumours that toxic methanol could help treat or prevent the coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

    "Unfortunately, as of this morning, 36 people have died in Khuzestan as a result of drinking counterfeit alcohol," a university spokesperson told the state news agency.

    They added that 170 people had sought medical help over alcohol poisoning in the course of the past 24 hours. The average age of those dead was 31, according to the spokesperson.

    On Monday, the death toll in the southwestern province of Khuzestan stood at 20. Seven more deaths were registered in the northern Alborz province, with local prosecutors linking the fatalities to the rumours circulating on the internet.

    Alcohol is banned for Muslims in Iran, which is currently suffering from the biggest coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East. Nearly 300 people out of more than 8,000 infected, have died from the coronavirus in the Islamic republic, according to the latest reports.

    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (496)
    methanol, Bootleg, alcohol, COVID-19, coronavirus, Iran
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