As many as 728 people have so far died in Iran after consuming toxic alcohol, wrongly believing that it can cure the coronavirus, local media reported. 

Etemadonline news website cited Iranian Health Ministry sources as saying that some 128 more people died after consuming tainted alcohol since April 7.

People consumed illicit liquor after rumors spread that it prevented from contracting the coronavirus, the viral infection that has claimed thousands of lives worldwide.

The sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited for Muslim citizens in Iran.

Under the Iranian law, those who produce, buy or sell alcoholic beverages can be sentenced to imprisonment and lashing.

The death toll in Iran from the coronavirus surged to 5,877 as 71 new deaths were reported, state media said on Tuesday.

A total of 1,112 more people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total infections to 92,584, Iran’s state broadcaster reported, citing a statement by the Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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