Brothers die in India after drinking three litres of hand sanitiser as ‘they ran out of alcohol’

They couldn’t find alcohol due to the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of Covid in their city

Akshita Jain
Thursday 25 March 2021 11:55 GMT
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File: The three brothers bought a five litre can of sanitiser when they couldn’t find alcohol
File: The three brothers bought a five litre can of sanitiser when they couldn’t find alcohol (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Three brothers in India died after consuming three litres of sanitiser when they ran out of alcohol during a lockdown imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19

Their family members told the police that the brothers, who lived in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh state, bought a five litre can of sanitiser when they couldn’t find alcohol due to the lockdown.

Investigation officer sub-inspector RK Mishra told The Times of India that the brothers felt uneasy after consuming the sanitiser on Sunday, but they still consumed it the next day. 

Police found the can which still had two litres of sanitiser left. The rest was consumed by the three brothers. A case has been registered and investigation is underway. 

The Madhya Pradesh government has imposed Sunday lockdown in several cities, including Bhopal where the incident happened, after a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases. The state has also imposed a complete ban on gatherings ahead of the festival of Holi. 

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A similar incident was reported from Madhya Pradesh in January when three members of a family consumed sanitiser as a substitute for alcohol. 

Sanitisers have become a must-have during the pandemic. Medical experts around the world have recommended that people clean their hands with alcohol-based sanitisers in the absence of soap and water.

Several cases of sanitiser consumption have been reported in India since a national lockdown was imposed last year to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

At least 10 people died in the state of Andhra Pradesh last year during a lockdown. Police said that the people who died had mixed the sanitiser with water and soft drinks. They drank the mixture for about 10 days before dying, police said.

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