Photo is for illustration.
The group lost consciousness after consuming a "high quantity" of hand sanitiser mixed with water or soda, Siddharth Kaushal, police superintendent for Kurichedu town in Andhra Pradesh state said.
They were rushed to hospital but declared dead on arrival, he said.
The group turned to hand sanitiser "as a substitute" for liquor after supplies were cut off when authorities ordered a lockdown of the town to combat the coronavirus, he added.
An investigation into the nine deaths has been launched, he said.
Hundreds of poor people die every year in India due to alcohol poisoning, mostly from consuming cheap hooch.
Bootleggers often add methanol — a highly toxic form of alcohol sometimes used as an anti-freeze or fuel — to their home-brew liquor to increase the alcoholic content.
The deaths in Kurichedu occurred shortly before India's coronavirus death toll passed 35,000 on Friday, overtaking that of Italy.
Total infections in the world's second-most populous country are now 1.63 million, surpassed only by the US and Brazil, both of which have much smaller populations.
The villagers "bring us fresh buffalo milk and vegetables. They refuse to take a single rupee and when my son had a 40-degree fever, they took it in turns to help despite the fear of coronavirus." "They even planted three trees as a souvenir of us," the 44-year-old said.
The largest number of evacuation flights for Indians abroad who want to return home because of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been allotted to the UAE in the first phase of the process, Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s Minister for Civil Aviation, has said.
The package — worth about 10 per cent of India's GDP — came as the country was set to mark its 50th day in the world's biggest lockdown as the number of virus cases topped 70,000 with 2,200 deaths.
Volunteers will receive their second vaccine shot in the coming weeks, and undergo regular health checks with full ongoing support from over 140 doctors, 300 nurses, and many more support staff involved in the trials.
"Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Nigeria, Morocco are the first set of countries that committed to it," said John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, based in Addis Ababa.
Sajaya’s 'Salam cultural event' to be hosted live on Zoom will feature a series of activities including an art auction, drawing, sketching and painting, and instrumental and vocal music segments.
The Ministry said in a statement that the intense testing drive uncovered 277 new cases of various nationalities, who are all in a stable condition and receiving the necessary medical treatment. This brings the total number of official cases recorded in the UAE to 63,489.