Iranian child in coma after being given alcohol for ‘coronavirus protection’

A nurse wears protective gear in a ward dedicated for people infected with the new coronavirus, at a hospital in Tehran on March 8, 2020. (AP)

An Iranian child went into a coma and lost his sight after being given alcohol by his family as a supposed protective measure against coronavirus, according to a video circulating on social media.

Over 200 people have died across Iran in recent weeks from alcohol poisoning after they resorted to drinking homemade or industrial alcohol hoping it would prevent coronavirus infection.

“This child was fed alcohol by his family to protect him against coronavirus. The child has lost sight in both eyes and is in a coma,” said a medical professional standing at the child’s bedside in a video shared on social media.

“I beg of you, do not give alcohol to your children. It is very dangerous,” he added.

Alcoholic drinks have been banned in Iran since 1979, but many people, especially those with less money, drink spirits distilled at home, which have high concentrations of methanol and are dangerous, or even resort to industrial alcohol with fruit flavoring which is available in supermarkets.

Methanol is an industrial alcohol used as a solvent, pesticide, and alternative fuel source.

In extreme cases, alcohol poisoning could lead to permanent blindness, brain damage or heart attacks.

As of Saturday, 1,556 in Iran have died from coronavirus, and there are 20,610 confirmed cases.

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Last Update: 16:35 KSA 19:35 - GMT 16:35
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