190326 Mohanlal.
Mohanlal Image Credit: Supplied

Malayalam superstar Mohanlal believes that collective clapping can kill the coronavirus and his questionable belief has unleashed a barrage of criticism against the actor. The online meme madness began after Mohanlal, who has thrived in Malayalam cinema for several decades, in a televised interview with Manorama news channel claimed that collective clapping is a viral antidote.

“Clapping together is a big process. The sound produced is like a mantram (chant) and there is a possibility that many bacteria and virus is likely to be destroyed. Let it all get destroyed … Sanitisation is something that should be learnt in schools and colleges and not observed for just one day.”

On March 22, under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directive, billions in India clapped at a designated time from their balconies to show support for the medical staff and others who are tirelessly working during the coronavirus spread.

Mohnalal was speaking from his home over the phone in Chennai while making these claims.

No sooner had those words left his mouth that the ‘Lucifer’ star has become the ripe subject for online trolls and memes with several questioning the actor’s intelligence.

The Press Information Bureau (PIB) Fact Check, a verified account that debunks myths took to twitter and questioned the star’s unsubstantiated finding and tweeted: “No! The vibration generated by clapping together will not destroy coronavirus infection.” The reality: “It was to express gratitude towards the Emergency staff working selflessly day and night to counter coronavirus in India”.

Several social media users expressed their disappointment at their matinee idol spreading ‘pseudo-science’ in the wake of the Janata Curfew.