Coronavirus alcohol rumours kill dozens, poison scores as Iran releases 70,000 prisoners

Iran temporarily released 70,000 prisoners because of the coronavirus outbreak in the nation as the death toll rose by 43 taking the total to 237.

“The release of the prisoners, to the point where it doesn’t create insecurity in society … will continue,” Iranian judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi said, according to Mizan, the news site of the judiciary.

Raisi did not specify when those released would need to return to jail.

Meanwhile, twenty-seven people died from methanol poisoning in Iran after rumours that drinking alcohol can help cure the novel coronavirus infection, state news agency IRNA reported.

A spokesman for Jundishapur medical university in Ahvaz, the capital of Khuzestan, said 218 people had been hospitalised there after being poisoned. The poisonings were caused by “rumours that drinking alcohol can be effective in treating coronavirus”.

Drinking alcohol is banned in Iran for everyone except some non-Muslim religious minorities.

More than 3,800 people have died worldwide from coronavirus and there are more than 110,000 infections, according to the World Health Organization.