At least 27 people in Iran that has been hit hardest in the Middle East by the coronavirus, have died from alcohol poisoning while trying to prevent infection of the coronavirus, Iranian news agencies reported on Monday, March 9.

With the outbreak of the coronavirus in Iran, many rumors and unscientific treatments on how to fight the virus have spread on social media. Among them was drinking alcohol. However, drinking alcohol is banned in Iran for everyone except for some non-Muslim religious minorities. Some people drank industrial alcohol sold in the market for sanitizing purposes and have been poisoned.

Twenty of 218 Iranians who were hospitalized from alcohol poisoning in Khuzestan Province, have died. While the official number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Khuzestan was 73, according to the AFP news agency. Seven in the northern region of Alborz have died after consuming bootleg alcohol.

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