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Over 10 persons have been confirmed dead after drinking alcohol-based sanitizer after liquor shops were closed in a village in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in order to curtail the spread of Coronavirus.
The village of Kurichedu has been placed in lockdown after a sharp increase in cases of the disease.
District police chief Siddharth Kaushal said the people who died had mixed the sanitizer with water and soft drinks in an attempt to get high.
They were alcohol-dependent, he added and had started drinking the mixture about 10 days before they died.
“We are investigating whether the sanitizer had any other toxic content,” Mr. Kaushal told reporters.
He added that they had sent samples of the sanitizer away for chemical analysis.
“Some people who are heavily addicted to alcohol had been consuming hand sanitizers for the high,” he told Reuters news agency.
“Alcohol is not available because of the lockdown, but hand sanitizers are easily available.”
Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Andhra Pradesh, in south India, have increased nine-fold over the last month.
Also, India has recorded more than 55,000 new infections nationally over the past 24 hours. The death toll rose by 779 to more than 35,700 in total.