As the coronavirus fake news is spreading worldwide, we must take measures to stop their spread. The spread of false news during the coronavirus pandemic has been quite rapid, especially with social media and messaging platforms. Such web portals have warnings for everything, including the army closure and beating the novel virus using hot drinks.
Such fake news is not just annoying spam, but they are also dangerous. Here are some of the most circulated coronavirus fake news that has spread at speed.
London is going into lockdown
By the end of last week, 18-19 March, messages started to get viral on WhatsApp that there was an announcement on Thursday night that the capital is going into lockdown from Friday for the next 15 days.
There were other claims as well in the message that supermarkets were going to open with restricted hours, and the police would be at checkpoints to monitor people’s movement.
“If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds without coughing, then you don’t have the virus.”
This coronavirus fake news started circulating early on in the crisis, and the claims have been shared more than 30k times on Facebook in various countries. It includes countries like India, Nigeria, and the USA.
These coronavirus fake news contained various pieces of false information, including counterfeit advice on how to detect if you have the novel virus infection. The message also tells people to breathe deeply and hold it for 10 seconds.
It further says that if you can do it without coughing or any difficulty means there is no fibrosis in the lungs. It indicates the absence of infection. The message also recommended people to do this every morning to help detect disease.
The virus spreads through petrol pumps
This coronavirus fake news appeared over the weekend of 21 and 22 March and was widely spreading on WhatsApp. It went on saying that people should wear gloves or use a paper towel when filling up and bin it straight away.
Hot water can beat the virus
Another coronavirus fake news was claiming that the virus hates heat and dies when exposed to the temperature higher than 27C. It told people to consume hot water abundantly, including infusions, broth, or just the hot water throughout the day. The viral message stated that these hot liquids could kill the virus and are easy to digest.
Eating garlic will prevent corona infection
There are lots of posts on Facebook that claim that eating garlic will prevent the infection.
Miracle mineral supplements
YouTuber Jordan Sather (1), who has thousands on followers in different platforms along with others, has been claiming that this supplement called MMS, can “wipe out” Coronavirus.
Home-made hand sanitizer
Many reports regarding the shortages of hand sanitizer gel came into news recently. Washing hands using soap and water or using sanitizer is one fundamental way to prevent the spread of the infection. As the reports of the shortages emerged in Italy, so did recipes for home-made sanitizer got viral on social media.
The use of drinkable silver got its first promotion on US televangelist Jim Bakker’s show. A guest on the show claimed that this solution could kill some strains of coronavirus within 12 hours. He also admitted that it hadn’t been tested on COVID-19 yet.
Drinking water every fifteen minutes
This post has been copied and pasted by multiple Facebook accounts. It says that a Japanese doctor recommends drinking water every 15 minutes. Doing so would flush out any virus that might have entered the mouth.
Avoiding Ice cream
Along with variations of the coronavirus fake news suggesting heat kills the virus, it says that people need to avoid eating ice cream. This post recommends drinking hot water, taking warm baths, or using a hairdryer. This post has been copied and pasted by various social media users from different countries. It further says that drinking hot water and exposure to the sun will kill the coronavirus.
The coronavirus is emerging in more countries globally. Currently, there is no known cure to curb this COVID-19 infection. Unfortunately, this situation has not stopped various coronavirus fake news, ranging from useless but relatively harmless to downright dangerous. Above are some of the most widespread claims that are shared online. We must act together to recognize such false information and avoid spreading it.
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