Dubai: As the deadly coronavirus continues to spread around the world, so does miracle cures and outlandish hoaxes. In recent days, millions of people have been exposed to false health warnings and quack treatment methods circulated on social media and WhatsApp, often claiming to be from the WHO or a national health ministry. Gulf News fact-checked 10 such claims and found each one of them to be false. Here’s a round up
Claim: Consuming garlic or sesame oil can keep coronavirus at bay
Fact-check: Garlic contains certain compounds that may keep your heart and guts in good health and might even prevent or fight cancer but there’s no evidence to remotely suggest that garlic can ward off coronavirus. Similarly, sesame oil either applied or ingested won’t have any effect on the virus.
Claim:. Homeopathic drug Arsenicum album 30 can cure coronavirus
Fast check: India’s Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) of India recently released two advisories on the preventative and treatment measures that can be taken for the coronavirus epidemic. One of the advisories was using the homeopathy drug Arsenicum album 30 against possible coronavirus infections. Arsenicum album 30 has never been tested or proven to reduce or prevent coronavirus infection. Indian fact-checking website Alt News examined each of the components in the medicine to evaluate if the claims of prophylactic, preventative measures for coronavirus or any other respiratory infections, hold true. As it turns out, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim. Unlike the information provided in the advisory by the Government of India, Alt News found that Unani can provide neither symptomatic nor preventative treatment for CoV infections or any other respiratory tract diseases.
Claim: Drinking chlorine dioxide will cure the virus
Fact check: Chlorine dioxide (industrial bleach) kits are sold under various names but they are most often referred to as — Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS). The kits include a bottle of sodium chlorite and a bottle of citric acid. When mixed together, they make chlorine dioxide, a common industrial bleach used in the production of paper products. But many are selling the chemical solution as a cure-all for coronavirus. Bleach-based cleaners are helpful for keeping surfaces virus-free but they are NOT a cure for the coronavirus. In fact, chlorine dioxide is dangerous to human health and can cause vomiting, severe diarrhea and acute liver failure.
The chemicals are dangerous when people put them on their skin, under their noses, or in their mouths, and they have “little or no impact on the virus”, warned the World Health Organisation.
Claim: Algae offers the best treatment for coronavirus
Fact-check: There is some scientific evidence to show that red marine algae might help with certain viruses like herpes, but there is no evidence to show it will work against coronavirus
Claim: Marijuana/cocaine kills the coronavirus
Fast check: There are lots of messages going around that marijuana, also called weed, kills coronavirus. “There is good evidence that marijuana contains antibacterial cannabinoids that can kill bacteria,” reads on such message. This is not true. In any case the coronavirus is a viral illness not a bacterial one. Similarly, smoking a highly addictive substance like cocaine can cause respiratory illnesses, not cure it.
Claim: Coconut oil is the best antidote to coronavirus
Fact check: Recently a health official in Philippines said that coconut oil was “being looked into” to kill the coronavirus
Studies have shown coconut oil might help kill bacteria that cause some Staphylococcus (staph) infections in mice. But that’s true for humans. In any case, the novel coronavirus is not the same as staph.
Claim: Shaving off facial hair will reduce chances of contracting coronavirus
Fast check: It has been widely claimed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US recommends people shave off facial hair to protect against the coronavirus
The message was circulated y alongside an infographic recommending men shave their beards to safeguard themselves against the coronavirus. As it turns out, CDC did not release the graphic in relation to coronavirus. The graphic is four years old and depicts various types of facial hair that how they work on filtering face piece respirators.
Claim: Drinking water every few minutes
Fact check: The claim is that drinking will wash the coronavirus down through your esophagus and into your stomach where your stomach acid will kill it. Drinking water prevents dehydration yes, but will not prevent anyone from catching coronavirus. Health experts say they advise people who are unwell to keep up fluid intake but added that there is no indication that it protects one against complications like coronavirus.”
Claim: Surgical masks protect against coronavirus
Fact check: Medical masks alone cannot protect against coronavirus. According to WHO, the masks should be worn by those showing symptoms of coughing and difficulty breathing, so they don’t spread disease to others. There is no evidence that masks protect people who are not sick.
Claim: Running nose with saline water or gurgling mouthwash
Fact check’ Certain brands of mouth wash can kill microbes and rinsing your nostrils can relieve a stuffy nose but they won’t prevent the spread of COVID-19.
with inputs from agencies
Did you know: Amazon has banned more than one million products which claim to protect against the coronavirus or even cure it.