Wrong information but spread throughout Iranian social network made many people believe, amid the public fear of the virus and skepticism of the government.
AP quoted Iranian media as saying that nearly 300 people were killed and more than 1,000 were hurt by industrial alcohol consumption around the country, where drinking was banned and people had to rely on smugglers.
The news comes amid the treatment of Covid-19, a disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus, spread throughout Iranian social network. At the same time, Iranians deeply suspected the government because officials had lowered the severity of the disease for days before it erupted sharply.
“The virus is spreading and one after another dies, I mean they are even less aware of the fact that there are other dangers lurking,” said Dr. Knut Erik Hovda, clinical toxicologist. in Oslo, to the AP.
He studied the toxicities of industrial alcohol and feared that the disease in Iran might be more serious than what was announced. “When they drink it, more people will get poisoned.”
So far, there is no cure for Covid-19 in the world. Scientists and doctors are continuing to study new strains of viruses and make drugs and vaccines.
However, in posts shared back and forth, social media accounts in Iran spread the news that an English teacher and many others had cured Covid-19 themselves by drinking whiskey with honey. Along with the article about using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, some people mistakenly believe that drinking high alcohol can help kill the virus in the body.
The fear of viruses in Iran, which has recorded more than 29,000 cases and more than 2,200 deaths, left dozens of people injured by illegal methanol alcohol consumption in Khuzestan province and Shiraz city. Iranian media also reported similar incidents in the cities of Karaj and Yazd.
In Iran, the government requires manufacturers of methanol, an alcohol used for industrial use only, to colorize the product so that the public can differentiate it from ethanol, which can be used to wash wounds. Ethanol is also the type of alcohol used to make alcoholic beverages, although this is prohibited in Iran.
Some smugglers in Iran use bleach to hide the color labels on their methanol products before selling them in a drinkable way. Sometimes, it is mixed with drinkable alcohol to increase the supply, according to Dr. Hovda.
Methanol cannot be detected in a drink by smelling or tasting. It can cause dysfunction of internal organs and brain damage. Symptoms include chest tightness, nausea, shortness of breath, blurred vision and even coma.