Busting the myths and fake messages circulating on social media, the Public Health department of Maharashtra on Wednesday said consuming more garlic, curry leaves or cow’s urine would neither treat nor prevent one from the novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection .
The officials urged people to instead follow good hand hygiene, have coughing and sneezing etiquette and eat nutritious and well-cooked food.
“Messages claiming that garlic, curry leaves and cow’s urine can prevent or treat nCoV are being circulated in the name of doctors, medical institutions and the Health department. They are all false,” said Health Minister Rajesh Tope. “At present, there is no specific treatment for nCoV and patients are given only symptomatic treatment. While there is no reason to panic, people should not fall prey to such misleading messages,” he said.
Messages talking about superfoods and home remedies for prevention and treatment have no scientific basis, he said.
The World Health Organisation also took to social media to spread awareness and bust such misleading claims. On garlic, WHO said it is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties but there is no evidence that it has prevented people from contracting the 2019 nCoV.
On sesame oil, it said: “Sesame oil is delicious but it does not kill nCoV.” Some forwards have warned people against eating Chinese or preserved foods etc.
“It is important to tackle misinformation as soon as possible. When there is an unknown, people try to fill in the void,” WHO’s Dr Sylvie Brian said at a press meet in Geneva on Tuesday.