Thu. Jul 18th, 2024
People wearing protective facemasks wait at a pedestrian crossing in Singapore on February 4, 2020. - Singapore has 18 cases of individuals infected with the novel coronavirus, which originated from Wuhan in China late last year. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP)

TL;DR – Myths debunked.

Since the global outbreak of the COVID-19, there have been widespread claims on social media that certain foods, diets, or even unorthodox methods can prevent or cure COVID-19.

Here’s a list of myths about the COVID-19 disease which has since been debunked:

Boiling garlic in water

You might have seen this “remedy” circulating Facebook or your WhatsApp groups which suggests that a soup made from boiling eight cloves of garlic in water will “cure” COVID-19.

Unfortunately, the claims in the information are factually inaccurate.

While there may be some evidence showing that garlic has antibacterial effects, however, research investigating garlic’s antiviral properties is limited.

And although garlic is considered a healthy food, there’s no evidence showing that eating it can prevent or cure COVID-19.

Drinking warm water

In March, Malaysian Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Adham Baba advised Malaysians to drink warm water to “flush” the virus down to the stomach.

According to the health minister, the digestive acids found in the stomach would kill any virus.

However, the claims quickly got dispelled by Dr. Nur Amalina Che Bakri, a Malaysian surgeon based in the United Kingdom, who explained that there was no evidence to suggest that acid in the stomach can kill the virus.

Breathing hot air from a hairdryer

A video viewed hundreds of thousands of times claims that breathing in hot air from a hairdryer or in a sauna can prevent or cure COVID-19.

This theory was refuted by the World Health Organization (WHO) who said that dryers are not effective in killing the virus and that the virus can still be transmitted in hot and humid climates.

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Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over the body

This claim has been debunked by WHO as well.

WHO explained that spraying alcohol or chlorine all over a person’s body will not kill viruses that have already entered the person’s body.

Instead, spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes.

While both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, however, WHO noted that they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.

Injecting disinfectant into bodies

President of the United States Donald Trump recently suggested exploring disinfectants as a possible treatment for coronavirus infections.

His suggestion came after a Homeland Security official mentioned the ability of disinfectants like bleach, can kill the coronavirus on surfaces.

Fortunately, his suggestion was rejected by medical experts who warned that the notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into a human’s body is irresponsible, dangerous and it could kill – even in small amounts.

Spraying alcohol on face masks

With the rise and spread of the COVID-19 disease, and as face marks become increasingly hard to find, people have been attempting to disinfect their masks by spraying it with alcohol.

In contrary to popular belief, unfortunately, spraying alcohol on your mask will only destroy the electrostatic absorption of the mask, causing the filter efficiency of the mask to fall below 95%.

In other words, your mask becomes useless if you spray it with alcohol.

While it is prudent and necessary to protect ourselves with masks – given the large number of cases today –Professor Teo Yik Ying, Dean of the National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, said that masks can only provide limited protection.

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Senior infectious diseases consultant at the National University Hospital, Professor Dale Fisher, also weighs in with his views and said that wearing a mask serves as a constant reminder to remind people to be careful but do little to stop the transmission of the virus.

Besides wearing the mask, there are a lot of other steps that we could take to prevent the spread of the virus, said Professor Leo Yee Sin, executive director of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

These are things that had been emphasised before, such as practicing personal hygiene and social distancing.

So yes, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, avoid going out unnecessarily, and stay at home as much as you can!

You may watch the full discussion below: