Nine die in Andhra Pradesh after consuming sanitizer mixed with soft drinks

The police also said the deceased had been gathering behind a temple in the town to consume sanitisers in absence of alcohol

Kurichedu is now under lockdown due to spurt in coronavirus cases and as such the liquor vends are also shut for the past few days.

At least 10 people have died after allegedly consuming alcohol-based sanitiser in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, The Indian Express reported.

Prakasam district Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal, who visited Kurichedu mandal headquarters, said the people had been consuming sanitizer for the past few days, mixing it with water and soft drinks. Similarly, seven people who were also admitted to the hospital with stomach pains, died on Friday.

The group turned to hand sanitizer "as a substitute" for liquor after licensed liquor stores were closed when authorities ordered a lockdown of the town to combat coronavirus.

A couple of other persons, who fell ill after consuming sanitizer, were undergoing treatment at their residences in the village, the police added.

India's federal government has reopened most businesses in order to prevent a severe economic crash.

Many states including Andhra Pradesh, however, are still isolating certain pockets where coronavirus infections have jumped. Kurichedu is one such area where a strict lockdown is in place.

Andhra Pradesh has reported 35,395 tests per million population as against the national average of 13,115 tests, with a positivity rate of 6.91% as against the national average of 8.71%.

The last 24 hours ending at 9 AM, the state also saw a new days high of 68 deaths, pushing the overall toll to 1,281, according to the latest bulletin.

The ministry also said it aimed to raise the country's capacity to 1 million coronavirus tests per day in the medium term, from a record 600,000 on Friday.

Earlier this week it was announced that yoga institutes and gyms would be allowed to reopen, and that restrictions would be lifted on the movement of goods and people.



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