15-Year-Old Girl Dies in Monastery Captured By Rogue Priest

A 15-year-old girl living in a Russian Orthodox monastery controlled by a defrocked coronavirus-denying priest has died, Interfax reported Wednesday.

The Sredneuralsk women’s monastery near Russia’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg has been under the control of Father Sergei Romanov since he forced out its mother superior in June. Since then, Russian media outlets have reported alleged widespread child abuse within the monastery.

The girl died from an unspecified disease, according to Igor Morokov, the Sverdlovsk region’s children’s rights ombudsman. She lived at the monastery with her parents, he said.

“There was no crime,” Interfax quoted Morokov as saying.

In a YouTube video published Thursday, Father Sergei said the girl had had brain cancer and was being treated by doctors at the monastery for about seven months before she died.

Russia’s Investigative Committee is now looking into the death.

The Russian Orthodox Church defrocked Father Sergei last month as a result of his refusal to follow coronavirus-related restrictions.

Sixteen dead after drinking alcohol-based hand sanitiser in India

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Sixteen people have died after drinking alcohol-based hand sanitiser in a town in the south of India, police have said.

The deaths, which are centred on the town of Kurichedu in the state of Andhra Pradesh, came during a lockdown in which shops selling alcohol are closed.

Police official Siddharth Kaushal told Reuters new agency last week that the deceased had suffered from alcohol dependency.

“Some people who are heavily addicted to alcohol had been consuming hand sanitisers for the high. Alcohol is not available because of the lockdown, but hand sanitisers are easily available,” he said.

Mr Kaushal also added that the sanitiser had been drunk mixed with soft drinks and water, according to the BBC.

In a video posted on his Twitter account on Sunday, Mr Kaushal can be seen warning groups of men in the local area about the dangers of drinking the liquid.

Of the 16 deaths caused by the ingestion of hand sanitiser, the latest five happened over the weekend, according to The Hindu newspaper.

Andhra Pradesh, the state in which Kurichedu is located, has recorded a nine-fold increase in the number of coronavirus cases over the last month.

Due to the infection level in certain parts of the state, areas such as Kurichedu are in strict lockdown, despite the federal government’s easing of restrictions to help the economy.

India has so far recorded 37,364 deaths from the virus and more than 1,750,000 Covid-19 infections.

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