Iran reports deaths from spike in illicit alcohol during COVID-19 pandemic

Over 5,000 people in Iran have been poisoned, and 728 have died, from methanol alcohol consumption. Illicit alcohol consumption increased in Iran following false reports that strong alcohol, industrial alcohol or moonshine could cure COVID-19. The deaths occurred between 20 February and 7 April 2020 and constitute a large increase compared with the 66 deaths recorded from alcohol poisoning over the year in 2019. Alcoholic drinks are banned in Iran although people belonging to religious minorities are permitted to drink in private.