Amid the Coronavirus lockdown, unable to get liquor, nine people died after consuming sanitiser in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, police said on Friday.
Superintendent of Police(SP) Siddharth Kaushal ordered a probe into the incident. He said sanitisers were seized from shops in the area and sent for chemical analysis.
Due to lockdown in Kurichedu and surrounding villages in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases, liquor shops were closed for the last 10 days.
The incident occurred in Kurichedu mandal headquarters in Prakasam district. Where three people died on Thursday and six people passed away today.
Due to the lockdown, for the last 10 days all the liquor shops in town and surrounding villages were closed, making the drunkards consume sanitizer used for hand hygiene, which are generally alcohol based.
Those who died in this incident, include three beggars. Two of them who used to beg at a local temple complained of severe burning sensation in their stomachs on Thursday night. While a man died instantaneously, another was shifted to a hospital at Darsi where he succumbed while undergoing treatment.
Another 28-year-old man died while being shifted to hospital after he had consumed country made liquor mixed with sanitiser. He fell unconscious at his home.
While, the police were trying to search if more people were brought to hospital with similar complaints, six more were rushed to hospital in the early hours of Friday.
Police were trying to ascertain if the victims were using only sanitisers or mixing it with some other chemicals.
The deceased were identified as A. Srinu, 25, B. Tirupataiah, 37, G. Ramireddy, 60, Kadiam Ramnaiah, 29, Ramanaiah, 65, Rajireddy, 65, Babu, 40, Charles, 45, Augustine, 47.
For the second successive day on Thursday, Andhra Pradesh reported more than 10,000 new cases of novel Coronavirus.
In Andhra Pradesh, one of the worst hit states, a total 10,167 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours taking the total number of active cases to 1,30,557. The Health Ministry stated that a total 60,024 people recovered from the virus in the state and in the last 24 hours, 4,618 people left hospital or quarantine centres after recovering from the virus. So far, 1,281 people have lost their lives and in 24 hours, including 68 people who succumbed to the disease.