At least 10 people died after allegedly consuming sanitiser as an alternative to liquor in a village under COVID-19 lockdown in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, the police said today.
India on Thursday reported 52,123 new Covid positive cases, taking the total to 15,83,792 cases. Cops said that initially two persons died on Wednesday and followed by that three more died on Thursday midnight and finally four more died on Friday morning.
The deceased were identified as Kadiyam Ramanaiah (28), A. Srinu (29), B.Tirupatiah (35), P. Dasu (65), M. Charles (36), G. Rami Reddy (57), K. Augustine (42), Raja Reddy (65), Kangani Ramanaiah (45) and Sk.Saida (26) from Kurichedu, and Mallikarjuna Rao (36), Rosaiah (41) and Sk. "We verified the information and found that they died of other ailments".
District superintendent of police Siddhartha Kaushal told local media that sanitisers from all local shops were seized for lab tests. "Ten deaths are related to sanitizer", the official said.
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. The state government had increased the excise duty on liquor with an additional 75% during the lockdown period and also reduced the number of liquor outlets in the state to discourage drinking.
Family members of the victims told the police that they they began to fall unconscious hours after consuming sanitiser. The quantities of the sanitiser each one of them consumed is not yet known. Serpentine queues were witnessed at all the liquor outlets across the state.
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%.