Social Media Impact: COVID-19 myths busted

DN Bureau

As the country battles the spread of COVID-19, a lot of misinformation related to the virus has been floating on social media.

File Photo
File Photo

New Delhi: As the country battles the spread of COVID-19, a lot of misinformation related to the virus has been floating on social media.

From WhatsApp forwards that claim to have come from medical practitioners to self-proclaimed advisors on Twitter, there are many causing damage to the society with false information.

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In an attempt to cut the clutter around the information, the Government of India has listed some of the most common myths and has busted them using information from the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the MyGov website.

The most common myth which has been doing rounds is that coronavirus cannot thrive in hot temperatures and therefore, hot baths and hand dryers are helpful in killing the virus.

However, quoted WHO and denied any such claims. According to the organization, the virus can be transmitted in hot and humid climates and hot baths and hand dryers do not have any impact on them.

Another temperature-related myth is that snow and cold weather can kill the virus which is also false as per the information on the government website.

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Though many viral diseases like dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile fever are transmitted through mosquito bites, coronavirus can only be spread through human communication.

One piece of misinformation which is harming the society in the most significant manner is that of pets and animals spreading the disease.

Getting influenced by it, many pet parents are abandoning animals in an attempt to keep themselves and their families safe.

However, both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have denied any such claims.

"CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19," read a statement by CDC.

Another myth that is doing rounds on the internet is that consumption of certain vegetables like garlic can protect people from coronavirus but according to WHO, no such evidence has been found related to the claim.

Sterilisation which is an important precaution to stop the spread of the highly contagious virus too has a lot of misinformation surrounding it.

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According to a pointer on, while many microorganisms can be killed through Ultraviolet light, it should not be used for sterilisation processes related to coronavirus.

Once the virus once enters the human body, it cannot be killed by sanitization on the outside of the body with alcohol or chlorine or any other solution.

Also, according to WHO, there has been no evidence that regular rinsing of the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the coronavirus.

Some other myths busted on the government website are that antibiotics can kill the virus and consumption of garlic can protect from its infection.

While garlic is healthy it cannot protect people from contracting coronavirus and antibiotics can only work against bacteria.

To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the coronavirus, the WHO has asserted.

As airports, government offices and multiplexes adopted thermal scanning before letting people enter or leave the premises, a lot of people have the belief that thermal scanning can detect if the person has contracted coronavirus.

While thermal scanners can detect if people have a fever, it cannot detect whether or not someone has coronavirus.

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Amidst a global healthcare crisis caused by COVID-19, there are chances of false information being spread in different parts of the country.

Therefore, verifying each piece of information from WHO and other government websites is the best way to deal with the issue.

According to the World Health Organisation, COVID-19 has affected over seven lakh people globally. (ANI)

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