Toxic hooch kills 11 in Cambodia amid alcohol sale ban

Phnom Penh

At least 11 Cambodian villagers have died after drinking toxic home-brewed rice wine, a health official said Wednesday, amid a government ban on alcohol sales imposed to fight coronavirus.

The victims drank the hooch at a funeral in their village on May 10, head of the health department in Kandal province told AFP.

Since then 11 people have died and another was rushed to a hospital in Phnom Penh in a critical condition on Wednesday morning, he said.

The victims were tested negative for Covid-19, but laboratory tests of the wine that the victims had been drinking found it contained high levels of methanol, said Kouy Bunthouen.

Unlike ethanol — the usual form of alcohol found in drinks — methanol is highly toxic, and can cause blindness even in very small doses.—APP

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