Seven people died after consuming hand sanitiser as they could not purchase alcohol as the liquor shops were closed in Wani tehsil of Yavatmal district in Maharashtra due to Covid-related restrictions.
The incident took place in Vani village of the district.
“The matter is being investigated. All of them were labourers. They consumed hand sanitiser when they couldn’t get alcohol,” Anjay Pujalwar, the Sub Divisional Officer of Police at Wani Police Station has said.
The Yavatmal district magistrate has ordered a probe into the incident.
The Maharashtra government on Thursday imposed stricter restrictions amid the rapid rise in coronavirus cases.
Hand sanitisers recommended by experts for Covid-19 prevention contains over 70% alcohol. They are meant for external use only and are toxic if ingested.
Earlier this month, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had announced a night curfew and weekend lockdowns to bring the coronavirus situation under control. This week, the Maharashtra government stopped short of announcing a full lockdown, but it imposed strict restrictions.
Maharashtra, the worst Covid-hit state, has been reporting over 50,000 daily coronavirus cases for many weeks.
Meanwhile, India has registered 3,46,786 new cases in the last 24 hours out of which Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 66,836 followed by Uttar Pradesh with 36,605 while Kerala reported 28,447 new cases.
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Rajasthan report 74.15 per cent of the new cases, the health ministry said.