Photo Credits: Daily Guide Network
In Iran, COVID-19 has killed almost 2,400 people and infected more than 30,000. In desperation to try fighting the virus, many Iranians are drinking industrial alcohol.
As the Associated Press reports, Iranian media report nearly 300 people have been killed and more than 1,000 sickened so far by ingesting methanol across the Islamic Republic, where drinking alcohol is banned and where those who do drink rely on bootleggers. An Iranian doctor helping the country’s Health Ministry told The Associated Press on Friday the problem was even greater, giving a death toll of around 480 with 2,850 people sickened.
The US has offered humanitarian aid to Iran, but Iran's supreme leader has refused, citing a conspiracy theory claiming the virus could be man-made by the United States government. He also said that the severe sanctions have been the biggest obstacle in Iran’s fight against the pandemic.
“Other countries have only one problem, which is the new coronavirus pandemic. But we are fighting on two fronts here,” said Dr. Hossein Hassanian, an adviser to Iran’s Health Ministry. “We have to both cure the people with alcohol poisoning and also fight the coronavirus.”
Some people in the southwestern province Khuzestan have been arrested for selling methanol to purportedly ward off the disease.
In this situation where doctors don’t have a solution for healing people with the new virus, many fake cures or preventions appear. Scientists and doctors continue to study the virus and search for effective medicines and a vaccine. Meanwhile, those fake cures are certainly dangerous. A remedy that allegedly "kills the coronavirus," according to misleading social media posts, is drinking silver particles in liquid, known as colloidal silver. Cocaine and bleach-like solutions are also among the risky fake cures touted online. "No, cocaine does NOT protect against #COVID-19," the French government tweeted in response.
Banner Health, a non-profit health care provider based in Phoenix, said on its website that "a man has died and his wife is under critical care after the couple, both in their 60s, ingested chloroquine phosphate, an additive commonly used at aquariums to clean fish tanks."
Alcohol in Iran is prohibited for Iranian citizens by law since the establishment of Islamic Republic government in 1979. Methanol has no odor or taste in drinks and that’s why there were outbreaks of methanol poisoning. It causes delayed organ and brain damage. Symptoms include chest pain, nausea, hyperventilation, blindness and even coma.