At least 16 people died in a remote area of ​​Peru after consuming adulterated alcoholic drinks that they believed "prevented" infection with "Covid 19", Friday's Peruvian News Agency (Andina) announced.

"These patients were admitted to Larkai Hospital on March 28 after they drank alcohol in order to prevent infection with the Corona virus (...), which resulted in the death of 16 people," the agency said, quoting health authorities in the Huancavelica region, 400 km southeast of the capital, Lima.

The agency quoted the regional government as saying that "the symptoms that appeared among the dead were symptoms of poisoning."

Since March, the Peruvian authorities have imposed mandatory isolation measures and prohibited nightly curfews in an attempt to curb the outbreak that has so far affected 1,595 people in this country and killed 61 others, according to official figures.