9 die after consuming hand sanitizer in Andhra Pradesh
At least nine people died in the last two days in Andhra Pradesh district when they had been consuming alcohol-based hand sanitizer, police said.
In Kurichedu City the tragedy happened. Four more died late on Wednesday night but on Thursday night four more died and on Friday morning six more died.
Three of the dead are considered to be beggars and the others are locals. In all, in the past two days 20 people felt they had consumed sanitis.
The deceased have been identified as Anugonda Srinu (25), Bhogem Tirupataiah (35), Guntaka Rami Reddy (60), Kadiam Ramanaiah (28), Raja Reddy (65), Ramanaiah (65), Babu (40), Charles (45) and Augustine (45).
Prakasam district Superintendent of Police (SP) Siddharth Kaushal told HT that these people had consumed sanitiser due to non-availability of liquor as there was a lockdown in force in Kurichedu to contain the spread of Covid-19.
It began with a beggar who had a heavy bruising feeling inside his stomach in a local goddess Durga ‘s temple. He died on Wednesday night as he was taken to the hospital.
Two people collapsed due to heavy stomach pain on Thursday morning. They were moved to Darsi City Government Hospital with the help of local residents, but died late in the night. Six others have received similar reports into the hospital, died Friday morning. Six others died.
Kaushal said sanitisers from all local shops were seized for lab tests. The police are trying to ascertain if the victims had consumed raw sanitiser or mixed it with spurious liquor.
For the last 10 days, Kurichedu and areas in the city have been locked up due to a spike in positive Covid-19 cases. Every liquor shop was closed.
Victims’ family members told police that, after consuming sanitiser, they had unintentionally started to fall hours. There are still unknown numbers of sanitisers each consumed.
The Andhra Pradesh government had reopened the liquor shops on May 4 after a prolonged period of lockdown. Serpentine queues were witnessed at all the outlets across the state.
The state government, however, hiked the rates and reduced the number of outlets with the contention that it would discourage people from resorting to drinking.