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Couple who made own beer to get around restrictions die of alcohol poisoning: 'Something went terribly wrong'

Tony Hilliar, 54, and Alida Fouche, 42, decided to make their own beer after running out of their alcohol supplies
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

A South African couple has lost their lives after consuming homemade beer in a bid to get around alcohol restrictions amid the COVID-19 lockdown. Tony Hilliar, 54, and Alida Fouche, 42, died after drinking from a batch of their homemade brew in Port Nolloth, South Africa, according to The Sun.

The couple decided to make their own brew after running out of their supplies of alcohol. South Africa went into lockdown several weeks ago, even placing restrictions on the sale of alcohol. According to the report, the couple collapsed in their home after consuming a bottle each. 

Estate agent Tony somehow managed to call for help. However, responding paramedics found him writhing in agony on the floor while his wife had already passed away.

While they rushed Tony to hospital immediately, he died a couple of days later. The two empty bottles of the home-brewed beer were given for forensic analysis as police detectives feared they had died from alcohol poisoning.

The rest of the batch was seized and taken away by authorities for lab testing.

Alida was found dead at the residence, while her partner died in intensive care at the local hospital a number of days later, South African Police spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba later confirmed.

"A 42-year-old woman was found dead in a flat and 54-year-old man was found in extreme pain and subsequently died in hospital and an inquest docket has been opened for both," he said. "Two empty bottles of homemade brew have been seized for forensic tests."

"They both liked a drink at the end of the day which is typically South African but thanks to this poorly thought out government ban there is no alcohol," Tommy Cockcroft, a friend of the couple, said. "Everyone is making their own beer so Tony did as well but it seems something went terribly wrong with the brew and that they both collapsed and died very senseless deaths.

"This alcohol ban is just beyond total belief and there is no sense whatsoever in it and the sooner people are treated like grown-ups the better," he added.

Another friend noted how the doting couple had been together for six years and became engaged just two years ago.

South Africa went into lockdown on March 26 and imposed a complete ban on the sale or transportation of alcohol.
Last month, after a number of fake cures were circulated around social media, the World Health Organization urged that drinking excessive alcohol was not a treatment for COVID-19, explaining that it would only weaken your defenses and reduce your ability to cope with the disease.

Aimed at quashing myths surrounding its supposed benefits, the WHO said alcohol neither kills the virus in the mouth and throat nor increases your immunity.

Considering, the organization requested countries to enforce measures to restrict alcohol consumption. "At times of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviors, mental health issues, and violence," it said on its website.
The site added that communicating with the public about the risks while also maintaining and strengthening alcohol and drug services would also help.