Due to non-availability of liquor, several people who are addicted to alcohol have turned to consuming sanitisers and this has become a matter of concern.
In an interview, SP Siddharth Kaushal said 35 people were identified on Sunday and 200 others were identified on Monday. He said:
We are in the process of identifying more people. It is an ongoing process and we are in continuous engagement with them, counselling them and telling them about the dangers of consuming sanitisers.
It is a unique situation here as all the liquor shops in the three mandals are closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. There are a large number of liquor addicts in the area who drink daily. A beggar gave them the idea of consuming sanitisers. While gel sanitisers are costly, the liquid is very cheap compared to liquor.
We are informing them how the harmful chemicals can cause death in a few days. All those who are now consuming sanitiser are extremely poor daily-wagers, beggars or labourers.
According to reports, 16 people died after consuming sanitizer in lieu of alcohol in Kurichedu mandal district last week.
Apparently, a 'sanitiser party' was held where people were consuming sanitiser mixed with water or soft drinks.
A special task force has also been set up to investigate the deaths that occurred in Kurichedu district and to check on the availability and sale of cheap sanitisers in large numbers.