Yavatmal: A group of seven in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra who ran out of alcohol decided to consume hand sanitiser instead, a decision that left seven of them dead.
The group of seven drank alcohol-based hand sanitiser as they could not buy liquor due to the weekend lockdown. The incident took place in Vani village of Yavatmal on Saturday. All those who died were labourers. According to the police, these people wanted to purchase but failed to do because all shops are shut during the weekend lockdown. The police stated that all labourers were admitted to a state-run hospital.
The Yavatmal district magistrate has ordered an investigation into the incident. Hand sanitisers recommended by experts for COVID-19 prevention contains over 70 per cent alcohol. They are meant for external use only and are toxic if consumed. Health experts say that the sanitiser contained 70 per cent methanol, a non-drinking alcohol that is deadly to humans in doses of 30 grams or more.
Maharashtra, the worst COVID-hit state in the country, has been registering over 50,000 daily coronavirus cases for past few weeks. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had declared lockdown style restrictions such as night curfew and weekend lockdowns to curtail the further spread of novel coronavirus. Earlier this week, the Maharashtra government also enforced strict guidelines which will remain in place till May 1.
The consumption of hand sanitiser instead of alcohol has also claimed lives in the country from last year. At least 10 people died after allegedly consuming alcohol-based hand sanitiser in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh in July last year. Most of the deceased were daily-wage labourers and beggars.