Warning: Misinformation regarding Covid-19 can be dangerous. WHO has uploaded the following statement to their list of Myth Busters for Covid-19 – “Drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous”
The national coroner’s authority has confirmed that 728 Iranians died between February 20th and April 7th due to ingestion of toxic methanol. Last year, alcohol poisoning killed 66 people in the country.
A report released in early April by the government of Iran stated alcohol poisoning has seen a 10-fold increase in the past year – a few people are consuming it, wrongly thinking that it can cure coronavirus (see warning above).
As misinformation regarding the coronavirus spreads, Iran’s government has made it mandatory that manufacturers of toxic methanol add an artificial colour to their products so the public can tell it apart from ethanol, which is used in the cleaning of wounds.
Methanol itself cannot be smelled or tasted in drinks, the consumption of which can cause chest pain, nausea, hyperventilation, blindness and even coma. Methanol causes delayed organ and brain damage.
Kianoush Jahanpour, the Iranian health ministry spokesman, said 5,011 people had been poisoned from methanol alcohol, adding that around 90 people have lost their eyesight or are suffering eye damage from the alcohol poisoning.