Nine people have died in south-eastern India after drinking hydroalcoholic gel instead of their usual drink, liquor stores being closed as part of the measures taken against the pandemic, police said on Friday 31 July. They lost consciousness after consuming " a large amount " of hand sanitizer mixed with water or soda, Siddharth Kaushal, a commissioner from the city of Kurichedu, in Andhra state, told AFP. Pradesh. They were rushed to hospital and declared dead on arrival, he added.
Read also: Coronavirus: Kenya limits the sale of alcohol to halt the spread of the epidemic
The group had turned to hydroalcoholic gel as a " substitute " for alcoholic beverages, as the supply ceased when authorities imposed lockdown in the city to combat the Covid-19 epidemic.
Hundreds of poor people die every year in India after consuming adulterated alcohol. Traffickers often add methanol, a highly toxic product commonly used as an antifreeze or fuel, to their contraband alcoholic beverages in order to increase their alcohol content. On Friday, the death toll from Covid-19 stood at more than 35,740 deaths in India.