Iranian media reports that at least 44 people have died from alcohol poisoning and hundreds have been hospitalized after consuming bootleg alcohol in an effort to treat the coronavirus.
A false rumor has circulated throughout the country that drinking alcohol can cure or prevent the coronavirus. Drinking alcohol is prohibited in the country.
Some citizens, according to Iran Health Ministry official Ali Ehsanpour, drank alcohol that substituted toxic methanol for ethanol, using bleach to mask the color. Seven bootleggers have been arrested.
In one part of the country, Khuzestan, more people have died from alcohol poisoning than from the coronavirus in that area, according to the state news agency IRNA.