Hundreds of Iranians have been killed and thousands more hospitalized after they drank high-concentration alcohol because they falsely believed that it could cure coronavirus.
“More than 600 people have died after attempting the cure and some 3,000 are now in hospital, Iranian judicial spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmaili said Tuesday,” The Daily Mail reported.
“The numbers are very high and are beyond our expectations,” Esmaili said. “Alcohol consumption is not a cure but can be lethal.”
“A number of people have been arrested… and we will deal with them decisively,” Esmaili continued. “They must be held accountable for their criminal acts, for causing death and damage to citizens.”
The Associated Press reported on March 27 that hundreds of Iranians had been killed from drinking “industrial alcohol.”
“Iranian media report nearly 300 people have been killed and more than 1,000 sickened so far by ingesting methanol across the Islamic Republic, where drinking alcohol is banned and where those who do rely on bootleggers,” the AP reported. “An Iranian doctor helping the country’s Health Ministry told The Associated Press on Friday the problem was even greater, giving a death toll of around 480 with 2,850 people sickened.”
It is unclear whether the deaths reported by The Daily Mail were new deaths or if they were just updated numbers from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The AP added, “The poisonings come as fake remedies spread across social media in Iran, where people remain deeply suspicious of the government after it downplayed the crisis for days before it overwhelmed the country.”
On March 16, Reuters reported that Dr. Rick Brennan, Director of Emergency Operations in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) new Emergencies Program, said that the coronavirus outbreak was much worse in Iran than the Islamic Republic was reporting.
“Iran has the third highest case load after China and Italy, with nearly 13,000 confirmed cases, according to WHO data,” Reuters reported. “However, Brennan, who just returned from a mission to Iran last week, said that the number of cases reported could represent only about a fifth of the real numbers.”
“We’ve said the weakest link in their chain is the data,” Brennan said. “They are rapidly increasing their ability to test and so the numbers will go up.”
The Daily Wire previously reported:
Back in late February, Iran’s government claimed that only 388 people had been infected and that 34 people had died from the coronavirus, which originated in China.
At the time, the BBC reported that the real number of deaths was believed to be at least 210, a number that came from sources inside the country’s health system.
New York Times reporter Farnaz Fassihi reported at the same time: “Real infected numbers about 10,000 to 15,000, says head of health committee of Tehran city council.”
#Iran coronavirus Friday:
Tolls climbs 34 dead & 388 infected.
Likely spread to 22 provinces.
Peak will come next weeks as tests kits are more available, health minister.
Real infected numbers about 10,000 to 15,000, says head of health committee of Tehran city council.
— Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) February 28, 2020
Foreign Policy highlighted just a few ways of how the coronavirus spread rapidly throughout Iran: “They include the government trying to hide the outbreak; insufficient testing capacity; refusal to cordon off cities and Shiite shrines; superstition, politicization, and propaganda blaming Iran’s usual enemies; and the lack of seriousness in dealing with the crisis.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.