More than 300 people have died and a further 1,000 have fallen ill in Iran after consuming methanol in the belief that it will protect them against the coronavirus, according to local media.
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Fake remedies have spread across Iranian social media, with methanol simply the latest supposed cure. As an Islamic nation, the consumption of alcohol is banned, but bootleggers have distributed industrial alcohol.
“Other countries have only one problem, which is the new coronavirus pandemic,” said Dr. Hossein Hassanian, an adviser to Iran’s Health Ministry who claimed that the problem could be more severe than reported. “We have to both cure the people with the alcohol poisoning and also fight the coronavirus.”