At least 30 people have died and 20 more have been hospitalized in the last two weeks in Istanbul after consuming pure alcohol, also known as ethanol, authorities said Wednesday.
According to authorities, the victims, most of them citizens of Turkmenistan, rubbed ethanol on their bodies before consuming it in an attempt to protect themselves against the new coronavirus.
The authorities said the hospitalized victims were in critical condition.
Death or injury from consumption of bootleg or pure alcohol is becoming an increasingly common issue with the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
After misinterpreting information about how alcohol-based solutions kill coronavirus, which works on surfaces outside the body, victims have consumed dangerous amounts of alcohol in a misguided attempt to protect themselves.
In Iran, at least 194 people have died and more than 1,000 have been poisoned since March 6 because of improper alcohol consumption.
While humans can consume beverages containing up to 50% alcohol without major complications, consuming pure ethanol – the product alcoholic drinks are made out of – can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal.