Iran, Ramadan
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  • More than 700 people in Iran have died from toxic methanol in efforts to cure the coronavirus, the Associated Press reported. The method is unproven and fatal.
  • In the US, President Donald Trump recently mused aloud the idea of injecting disinfectant to treat the coronavirus.
  • Experts have said that the suggestion is dangerous, fatal, and won't treat the coronavirus.
  • For mores stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

More than 700 people in Iran have died from taking toxic methanol to rid themselves of the novel coronavirus, the Associated Press reported.

More than 5,000 people had been poisoned from methanol alcohol with 525 deaths since February 20, Iranian health ministry spokesman, Kianoush Jahanpour said, according to the AP.

Over the past year, alcohol poisoning happened at a rate 10 times larger compared to the previous year, according to a government report released earlier in April. Between February 20 and April 7, 728 Iranians died from alcohol poisoning, the AP reported. By comparison, only 66 people died from alcohol poisoning in 2019.

The 700-plus figure is higher than the official number, and adviser to the ministry Hossein Hassanian told the AP that the figure takes into account 200 deaths from poisonings that happened outside of hospitals.

Methanol is a substance that is undetectable, and can't be smelled or tasted and the Iranian government has asked manufacturers to add artificial colour to the product so people can differentiate it from ethanol which is used to treat wounds. Methanol can cause delayed organ and brain damage with symptoms like chest pain, nausea, hyperventilation, blindness, and even coma, the AP reported.

However, according to the AP, some bootleg makers of the toxic substance have also added: "a splash of bleach to mask the added colour before selling it as drinkable."

Iranian health ministry spokesman, Kianoush Jahanpour said at least 90 people lost their eyesight or are suffering eye damage due to the alcohol poisoning, according to the AP.

Last week, US President Donald Trump falsely mused about injecting disinfectant as a coronavirus treatment - a suggestion that health officials were quick to tell the public not to do.

"And I then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute and is there a way you can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it'd be interesting to check that," Trump said during a press conference on Thursday.

Trump later claimed he made those comments sarcastically to "to see what would happen." However, many experts and companies who sell disinfectant products have warned that ingesting any of those substances can be fatal and do not actually fight the coronavirus.

But I was asking a sarcastic, and a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside," Trump said on Friday. "But it does kill it, and it would kill it on the hands. That would make things much better. That was done in the form of a sarcastic question to the reporters."

While there are no reports of people ingesting disinfectant in the US after the president's remarks, at least 100 people called in Maryland's coronavirus hotline inquiring about Trump's remarks.

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