Laboratory results have confirmed poisoning with methyl alcohol in four people who drank spirits delivered from the Czech Republic. Even though the methyl alcohol has already caused the deaths of up to 20 Czechs, Slovakia is not currently considering the possibility of halting the import of the spirits from its western neighbour, the SITA newswire reported on September 17.

During the weekend, a hospital in Prešov accepted eight people from Veľké Kapušany, near Prešov, who had been drinking the spirits during a family party, which took place on Friday, September 14. The family bought the alcohol from the Czech Republic through the internet, said spokesperson for the regional police station in Prešov, Daniel Džobanik. An analysis of the homemade plum brandy has confirmed the presence of methyl alcohol.

The police have already launched an investigation into the issue.

Meanwhile Agriculture Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek contacted his Czech counterpart Petr Bendl and asked him to ensure proper control of home distilleries. Jahnátek also asked the State Veterinary and Food Administration to control the alcohol sold in Slovak shops, SITA wrote.

The Slovak Public Health Authority has meanwhile recommended that consumers in Slovakia avoid drinking alcohol imported from the Czech Republic. The Czech government has introduced a countrywide ban on the sale of drinks with alcohol content exceeding 20 percent as of Friday evening, the TASR newswire wrote.

Source: SITA, TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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