Busting Myths And Fake News Around Coronavirus Outbreak

The Logical Indian has curated and busted a list of myths and fake news surrounding the deadly air-borne virus.

India   |   7 March 2020 11:07 AM GMT / Updated : 2020-03-11T13:02:29+05:30
Editor : Bharat Nayak | By : Aditi Chattopadhyay
Busting Myths And Fake News Around Coronavirus Outbreak

Image credit: Krishi Jagran

Fake news on Covid-19 including quack medicines, remedies, conspiracy theories, false government advisories, and misleading narratives, morphed images, doctored videos around China and the infection has exploded on the internet over the last three days.

Coronavirus now induces the same fear and dread, like a ticking time bomb.

#COVID-19 tops Twitter's trending topics in India.

Coronavirus, or Covid-19, isn't just a severe acute respiratory syndrome with a terrifying incubation period; it's also the first true epidemic of a polarized, plugged-in era.

The Logical Indian has curated and busted a list of such myths surrounding the deadly air-borne virus.

There Is No Evidence That Homeopathy Drug Arsenicum Album 30 Prevents Coronavirus

The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) of India released advisory claiming that the homeopathy drug Arsenicum album 30 can be used for symptomatic management of Coronavirus infection.

Following the release of the advisories, the message was misinterpreted by Netizens. WhatsApp forwards with the claim that Arsenicum album 30 can prevent the onset of Coronavirus infection went viral.

Arsenicum album 30 has never been tested or proven to reduce or prevent coronavirus infections. The ministry clarified that the two advisories issued on January 29, are only of general precautionary measures to be followed in the context of such viral diseases. The ministry also alleged that this was an attempt to malign its image.

Contrary To Popular Claims, No Evidence Between Eating Meat And Coronavirus

The total number of patients infected by the coronavirus or COVID-19 in India now stands at 33.

Amidst all this, the hashtag #NoMeatNoCoronavirus is trending on Twitter attacking the non-vegetarians in the country and holding them responsible for "bringing" the disease to India.

The trend also urges people to give up meat and go vegan if they want to survive the pandemic.

The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through contact with an infected person through respiratory droplets generated when a person, for example, coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. The Logical Indian spoke to G Devegowda, President, Institution of Veterinarians of Poultry Industry who reiterated the same view and called the message, "fake and without any scientific basis."

Therefore, there is no scientific evidence backing the claim that Coronavirus is spreading through chickens.

As long as one is properly cleaning and cooking food items, especially meat, one should be safe and healthy.

Did 'The Simpsons' Writers Predict The Coronavirus Outbreak 27 Years Ago?

In the midst of the frenzy that the Coronavirus outbreak has generated, a rumour started circulating on social media that the long-running sitcom "The Simpsons" had "predicted" this outbreak in 1993.

The first three panels of the viral image going counter clock-wise (i.e., all but the bottom-right panel) are original. These are taken from the 1993 episode (Season 4, Episode 21) entitled "Marge in Chains."

The fourth panel (bottom right), however, is doctored and actually comes from a different episode of "The Simpsons." That panel, featuring Springfield reporter Kent Brockman, is from the episode "The Fool Monty" (Season 22, Episode 6). The words "Corona Virus" are morphed on top of this image, which originally read "Apocalypse Meow."

The New Coronavirus Can Be Transmitted Through Goods Manufactured In China Or Any Country Reporting COVID-19 Cases

Even though the new coronavirus can stay on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days (depending on the type of surface), it is very unlikely that the virus will persist on a surface after being moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures. If you think a surface may be contaminated, use a disinfectant to clean it. After touching it, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Pets At Home Can Spread The New Coronavirus

At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you against various common bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.

Eating Garlic Helps Prevent Infection With The New Coronavirus

Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.

Mask Must Be Worn At All Times

If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with the suspected 2019-nCoV infection. Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.

Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

Unscientific Comments

Suman Haripriya, a BJP MLA of Hajo assembly constituency in Assam, said: "Coronavirus is an airborne disease and it can be cured by using 'gaumutra'(cow urine) and cow dung."

"Performing yagna with ancient Vedic rituals of Hindu religion would help in killing the deadly coronavirus in the air," Sanjay Gupta, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Laksar area in Haridwar said.

While cow urine and cow dung might be used in several medicines, it can certainly not cure coronavirus. No such scientific evidence exists.

What Is Being Done To Squash The Spread Of Fake News?

Social media firms are cracking down on fake news and misinformation about coronavirus to prevent the spread of harmful content.

Facebook is removing posts that promote dangerous conspiracy theories, such as false suggestions that drinking bleach cures the virus.

Decisions on which content needs to be taken down will be taken with the help of leading global health organisations and local health authorities.

Meanwhile, Twitter searches will direct users to official Government information.

If you have any news that you believe needs to be fact-checked, please email us at factcheck@thelogicalindian.com or WhatsApp at 6364000343

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak: Frequently Asked Questions

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Contributors

Aditi Chattopadhyay

Aditi Chattopadhyay

Fact Checker

Aditi, part of the fact checking team of The Logical Indian likes to read, write, cook and laugh, in short live life as it is supposed to be. What makes her fascinated is to discover the truth behind a story and more often than not, it is either fact or myth at the end.

Bharat Nayak

Bharat Nayak

Founding Editor- Special Project

As the founding editor, Bharat had been heading the newsroom during the formation years of the organization and worked towards editorial policies, conceptualizing and designing campaign strategies and collaborations. He believes that through the use of digital media, one could engage the millennial's in rational conversations about pertinent social issues, provoking them to think and bring a behavioral change accordingly.

Aditi Chattopadhyay

Aditi Chattopadhyay

Fact Checker

Aditi, part of the fact checking team of The Logical Indian likes to read, write, cook and laugh, in short live life as it is supposed to be. What makes her fascinated is to discover the truth behind a story and more often than not, it is either fact or myth at the end.

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