Health ministry secretary of state Or Vandine on January 20 reiterated a warning to ensure minimal amounts of methanol and other toxic substances in food or drink, or else risk life-threatening complications.

Vandine made the appeal during a visit to Svay Rieng to assess the Covid-19 vaccination situation in the southeastern province that borders Vietnam.

Highlighting alcoholic beverages, and rice wine in particular, she stressed how difficult it can be to measure concentrations of methanol in distillates, and that high levels can lead to poisoning and death.

According to South Korean environmental health scientist Moon Chan-seok, a methanol dose of even just 300mg/kg body weight could be fatal.

This is according to Moon’s 2017 paper “Estimations of the lethal and exposure doses for representative methanol symptoms in humans”, published in online peer-reviewed journal Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Meanwhile, Vandine, who also heads the National Ad-hoc Commission for Covid-19 Vaccination, renewed her call for the public to schedule booster dose appointments as needed, noting that jabs are not in short supply.

Noting that a sixth dose has been approved, she commented that many people are “doing their part to prevent another outbreak of Covid-19, especially of its newer sub-variants”.

The ministry reported that, as of January 20, nearly 1.393 million people had been vaccinated with a fifth Covid-19 dose, and that 49,981 had received their sixth.