QUITO – Ecuador’s Public Health Ministry (MSP) confirmed Sunday that two more people have died from drinking homemade liquor made with methanol, bringing the death toll to 36.
The two new fatalities occurred in the Amazon province of Napo, where there are currently 16 people who have been poisoned, all the victims having consumed the adulterated liquor at a wake, the MSP said on its Twitter account.
In addition, the ministry said the origin of the homemade liquor seems to be the coastal province Guayas, with distributors in the central province of Tungurahua.
Ecuador’s vice minister of health, Nicolas Jara, ordered “the immobilization of all liquors in Napo that have their origin in Tungurahua,” according to the information posted on Twitter.
Also, the Health Ministry proclaimed that liquor sales in the Amazon province would be halted for 48 hours.
Starting on July 14, people began turning up at hospitals around the country after being poisoned by adulterated liquor.
At that time, the main focus of infection was the southwestern province of Los Rios, where a local festival was being held and 20 people died.
Over time, given that the adulterated alcohol was being shipped all over the country, the cases began appearing in other areas, and there have been about 10 deaths in Pichincha province, the capital of which is Quito; eight in Tungurahua, two in Azuay, two in Guayas, one in Manabi and two in Napo.
People poisoned by consuming the homemade liquor have been reported in 16 of the country’s 24 provinces.