Coronavirus: Mexican inmates die after drinking anti-bacterial gel

A student uses hand sanitiser as she arrives at a secondary school in Bangkok on July 1, 2020.
A student uses hand sanitiser as she arrives at a secondary school in Bangkok on July 1, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

PUEBLA, MEXICO (AFP) - Three inmates of a prison in Mexico died after ingesting antibacterial gel distributed to prevent the spread of Covid-19, local authorities said on Wednesday (July 1).

The men thought the gel would have the same effects as an alcoholic drink, state authorities said.

A fourth man is reported to be in a serious condition.

"Three of the four inmates lost their lives due to intoxication and the survivor told prison authorities what happened," a statement from Puebla state's security department said.

Local media reported that the inmates had mixed the gel with a cola drink.

"They weren't motivated by health, but to drink alcohol and that caused their death," Puebla's Interior Minister David Mendez told reporters.

Prison authorities have distributed antibacterial gel in Mexico's chronically overcrowded prisons in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Mexico, which has a population of 127 million, has so far registered more than a quarter of a million infections and more than 27,000 Covid-19 deaths.