Iran witnessed a shocking incident where 300 people died and 1000 fell ill after they consumed industrial alcohol over fears about the new coronavirus.
A five-year-old boy, who was one among them, is now blind. He is just one among hundreds of victims of coronavirus pandemic, which has taken Iran into its grip.
"It is rumored that alcohol can wash and sanitize the digestive system," said Dr. Javad Amini Saman in Iran's western city of Kermanshah, where dozens have been hospitalized. He however stated that this is not true.
Iran fights another battle of misinformation
In Iran, drinking alcohol is banned, and those who do procure alcohol, do so illegally.
On Friday, Tehran reported 2,926 new cases and 144 deaths taking the death toll to 2,378. The total infected cases are more than 32,300.
Social media in Iran has seen a rise in fake remedies and superstition as the COVID-19 cases number rise. People there have reportedly lost faith in the Government as Iran downplayed the crisis for days before it overwhelmed the country.
Dr. Knut Erik Hovda, a clinical toxicologist in Oslo, who studies methanol poisoning and fears Iran's outbreak could be even worse than reported, said, "'The virus is spreading and people are just dying off, and I think they are even less aware of the fact that there are other dangers around."
For a majority of people, the coronavirus illness causes mild or moderate symptoms like fever, cough, that clears up in two to three weeks but in people who are old and have underlying illness, the virus can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.
The virus has no cure and attempts are on to find out medicines and vaccine. However, there are people in Iran who are stating over the social media, that they cured themselves with whiskey and honey but doctors say that this is false.
Mixed with messages about the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, some wrongly believed drinking high-proof alcohol would kill the virus in their bodies.
The Islamic Republic has reported over 29,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,200 deaths from the virus, the highest toll of any country in the Middle East.