9 die after consuming hand sanitizer in Andhra Pradesh (India). Police say they couldn’t find liquor

At least nine people died when they consumed alcohol-based hand sanitizer in Indian state of Andhra in the last two days, the police said.

The tragedy took place in Kurichedu town. The District Superintendent of Police (SP) Siddharth Kaushal was quoted saying "these people had consumed sanitiser due to non-availability of liquor as there was a lockdown in force in Kurichedu to contain the spread of Covid-19."

The incident came to light when a beggar at a local temple complained of severe burning sensation in his stomach. He  while being taken to the hospital on Wednesday night.

On Thursday morning, two others collapsed due to severe stomach pain. The family members shifted them to the government hospital at Darsi town, but they succumbed late in the night. Six others, who were also admitted to the hospital with similar complaints, died on Friday morning.

Mr. Kaushal said hand-sanitizers from all local shops were seized for lab tests. The police are trying to ascertain if the victims had consumed raw sanitizer or mixed it with spurious liquor.

Long queues outside liquor stores after lockdown was lifted

Kurichedu and areas around the town have been under lockdown for the last 10 days due to spike in COVID-19 positive cases. All the liquor stores remained closed. The Andhra Pradesh government had reopened the liquor shops on May 4 after a prolonged period of lockdown. Serpentine queues were witnessed at all the outlets across the state.

The state government, however, hiked the rates and reduced the number of outlets with the contention that it would discourage people from resorting to drinking.

Similar cases are being reported around the world


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