According to Fox News, an excess of 300 people have died while an additional 1,000 have been become sick from drinking methanol, an industrial alcohol that is highly poisonous when consumed by humans, thinking that it was a preventative vaccine against the coronavirus.
This is the just one of the fake elixirs being sold with the promise to make a consumer immune to the virus or curing the already infected. Iran has banned the consumption of alcohol, which is common for Islamic nations, but the black market for alcohol has also become a place to find fake remedies during this pandemic.
The U.S. has also been faced with people claiming to have access to a cure and taking advantage of the fear felt by those trying to remain safe from the virus. The FBI arrested a man last week for selling access to fake remedy in California.
Fox News reported further on the conditions in Iran.
“Other countries have only one problem, which is the new coronavirus pandemic,” said Dr. Hossein Hassanian, an adviser to Iran’s Health Ministry who claimed that the problem could be more severe than reported. “We have to both cure the people with the alcohol poisoning and also fight the coronavirus.”
The government downplayed the crisis ahead of a parliamentary election, leaving the Iranian people with little trust in their lawmakers.
“Unfortunately in some provinces, including Khuzestan and Fars, deaths from drinking methanol has exceeded the number of deaths by the new coronavirus,” Hassanian said.
Iranian social media accounts falsely suggested a British school teacher and others cured themselves of the coronavirus with whisky and honey. Due to reports on the effectiveness of hand sanitizer in combating coronavirus, many started to consume industrial alcohol such as methanol in the belief it would protect them.
Iran 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.
A group of 21 Nobel Laureats signed a letter addressed to the United Nations requesting international intervention due to a lack of action being taken by the Iranian authorities, as reported by Fox News.
International authorities have questioned the statistics presented by the Iranian government after they maintained regular daily activities, including large religious gatherings, while downplaying the looming danger until high ranking officials became infected with COVID-19.
They complained of a lack of information being shared with the Iranian citizens and parochial and political traditions taking priority over the need to quarantine and isolate those that are coming into contact with the coronavirus.
Critics have questioned that The Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps, the special military team that has been designated a “terrorist organization” by the U.S. and is tasked with maintaining Iran’s Islamic Republic political system has been charged with managing the coronavirus outbreak in Iran.