Hundreds of Iranians have died and thousands fell ill after consuming methanol amid false rumors that it can help cure the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Iran has struggled to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed thousands of people across the country and infected another tens of thousands.
In a desperate search for a cure, families have been turning to fake remedies that have spread across social media, including alcohol, which is banned in the Islamic Republic.
According to Iranian media, hundreds of people have been killed by ingesting methanol.
An Iranian doctor helping the health ministry told the Associated Press that the extent of the problem was even greater.
"Other countries have only one problem, which is the new coronavirus pandemic. But we are fighting on two fronts here," said Dr Hossein Hassanian, the health ministry adviser.
"We have to both cure the people with alcohol poisoning and also fight the coronavirus."
A video broadcast on Iranian networks and shared online showed a five-year-old boy, who had apparently gone blind after his parents gave him the liquid, hooked up to breathing apparatus.
According to several reports, people in the southwestern province Khuzestan have been arrested for selling methanol to purportedly ward off the disease. Cases of methanol drinking have also been reported in the southern city of Shiraz and in the cities of Karaj and Yazd.
Citing a story published in a UK tabloid, Iranian social media accounts have promoted the idea that a British schoolteacher and others were able to cure themselves of Covid-19 with whisky and honey.
Combined with the guidelines that alcohol-based sanitisers can be used as a hygienic measure against the virus, some have wrongly concluded that drinking high-proof alcohol could kill the disease.
Alcohol is banned in Iran. The government mandates that manufacturers of toxic methanol add an artificial colour to their products so the public can tell it apart from ethanol, the type of alcohol that can be used in cleaning wounds and in alcoholic drinks.
Some bootleg producers of alcohol, however, use methanol in their drinks, adding bleach to mask the added colour.
Iran has struggled under the weight of the worst coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East.