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With liquor shops locked down, 10 die in India drinking sanitiser

Ten men died in a southern Indian state on Friday after consuming alcohol-derived sanitiser, as local liquor shops were closed due to a coronavirus-related lockdown, police said.

The deaths in the town of Kurichedu, in Andhra Pradesh, came as India reported another record surge in daily Covid-19 cases, taking the total to 1.64 million.

“Some people who are heavily addicted to alcohol had been consuming hand sanitisers for the high,” Siddharth Kaushal, the top police official in the district where Kurichedu is located, told Reuters. “Alcohol is not available because of the lockdown, but hand sanitisers are easily available.”

He said some other people who had also consumed sanitiser had been discharged from the hospital. Some of the dead had other health conditions, he added.

The federal government has allowed the reopening of most economic activities to try to stave off financial disaster.

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.

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